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Julius Shulman dies at 98

July 16, 2009 |  1:39 pm

ShulmanNogai

Julius Shulman, architectural photographer and a Los Angeles landmark in his own right, died last night. Look for coverage in the L.A. Times tomorrow, and in the meantime you can read the obituary documenting a remarkable life and see the related photo gallery. When I came to the Home section in 2005, my first assignment was to profile Shulman in advance of his 95th birthday celebration. I tagged along as he photographed R.M. Schindler's Fitzpatrick house, and later in the week I met Shulman at his home studio for a follow-up conversation. He answered the door and conducted the interview in a robe, which I thought was hilarious and refreshing. (Clearly, he felt the need to impress no one.) The afternoon sped by, and by the time I left in darkness of night, I understood why every time I ran into him at parties in subsequent years, he was surrounded by Julius groupies. Fans treasured him. Some photos from that 2005 assignment after the jump.

-- Craig Nakano

Photo: Julius Shulman, right, and his associate, Juergen Nogai, setting up in the Fitzpatrick house overlooking Laurel Canyon. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times.

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The photo above was taken by Times photographer Genaro Molina during the 2005 assignment.

If you read my story, the Shulman/Nogai photo to the right is the image described in the article's opening scene. Even the dogs seemed to listen to the photographer's every word.

For the story, I interviewed Wim de Wit, head of special collections and architectural curator at the Getty, who said Shulman's photography made the world aware of the groundbreaking residential architecture being built in midcentury Southern California. "He also made people understand that Modern architecture wasn't necessarily bad or cold," de Wit said. "He showed how it could be quite livable."

Below is the lead image from our two-page spread inside.


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Photo at right: Shulman holds test Polaroids of the Fitzpatrick exterior. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times 






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