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Photographer Shulman Had An Eye For The Modern

Julius Shulman spent more than 70 years photographing Los Angeles' iconic architecture.
Alex Chadwick, NPR /
Julius Shulman spent more than 70 years photographing Los Angeles' iconic architecture.

Julius Shulman, the photographer who showed us what modern architecture looks like, died at his home in Los Angeles on Wednesday. He was 98.

Shulman loved his work, and was still an active photographer. According to his daughter, his last assignment was only two weeks ago.

Known for his sleek and cinematic portraits of California's modern homes, Shulman was often recognized for "Case Study House No. 22," a nighttime portrait of a modern glass house that juts out from a cliff over the Los Angeles skyline.

Alex Chadwick, who interviewed the photographer for NPR three years ago, tells Madeleine Brand that the "Case Study House No. 22" photograph captures the experience of modernism itself:

"It was just a photograph that captured the image of the home — the building itself — but also the experience of being in that building, of dreaming that Los Angeles dream on the hillside," says Chadwick.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.