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April 16, 2014
Stoller's images, which introduced modernism to a broader audience, anchor an exhibit of architectural photography at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.
Chaimberlain Cottage by Marcel Bruer, photographed by Ezra Stoller

Chamberlain Cottage by Marcel Breuer, Weyland, Massachusetts, 1941. Gelatin silver print. Carnegie Museum of Art, Purchase: gift of the Drue Heinz Trust. Image courtesy of the Carnegie Museum of Art, copyright Ezra Stoller/Esto, Yossi Milo Gallery.

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TWA Terminal by Ezra Stoller

TWA Terminal, interior, designed by Eero Saarinen, 1962. Gelatin silver print. Carnegie Museum of Art, Purchase: gift of the Drue Heinz Trust. Image courtesy of the Carnegie Museum of Art, copyright Ezra Stoller/Esto, Yossi Milo Gallery.

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Finnish Pavilion by Alvar Aalto, 1939 New York World's Fair

Finnish Pavilion, 1939 World's Fair, designed by Alvar Aalto. Gelatin silver print. Carnegie Museum of Art, Purchase: gift of the Drue Heinz Trust. Image courtesy of the Carnegie Museum of Art, copyright Ezra Stoller/Esto, Yossi Milo Gallery.

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Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright

Fallingwater, Mill Run, Pennsylvania, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, 1963. Gelatin silver print. Carnegie Museum of Art, Purchase: gift of the Drue Heinz Trust. Image courtesy of the Carnegie Museum of Art, copyright Ezra Stoller/Esto, Yossi Milo Gallery.

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Salk Institute for Biological Studies, San Diego

Salk Institute for Biological Studies, designed by Louis I. Kahn, photographed in 1977. Gelatin silver print. Carnegie Museum of Art, Purchase: gift of the Drue Heinz Trust. Image courtesy of the Carnegie Museum of Art, copyright Ezra Stoller/Esto, Yossi Milo Gallery.

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Seagram Building, interior, by Ezra Stoller

Seagram Building, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson, photographed 1958. Gelatin silver print. Carnegie Museum of Art, Purchase: gift of the Drue Heinz Trust. Image courtesy of the Carnegie Museum of Art, copyright Ezra Stoller/Esto, Yossi Milo Gallery.

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Notre Dame du Haut

The chapel of Notre Dame du Haut in Ronchamp, France, designed by Le Corbusier and photographed in 1955. Gelatin silver print. Carnegie Museum of Art, Purchase: gift of the Drue Heinz Trust. Image courtesy of the Carnegie Museum of Art, copyright Ezra Stoller/Esto, Yossi Milo Gallery.

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Guggenheim Museum

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, photographed in 1959. Gelatin silver print. Image courtesy of the Carnegie Museum of Art, copyright Ezra Stoller/Esto, Yossi Milo Gallery.

Courtesy of 
Guggenheim Museum
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Manufacturers Trust Company Building

Manufacturers Trust Co. building, Manhattan, designed by Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, photographed in 1954. Gelatin silver print. Carnegie Museum of Art, Purchase: gift of the Drue Heinz Trust. Image courtesy of the Carnegie Museum of Art, copyright Ezra Stoller/Esto, Yossi Milo Gallery.

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Kitt Peak National Observatory

The McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory, designed by Myron Goldsmith, photographed1962. Gelatin silver print. Carnegie Museum of Art, Purchase: gift of the Drue Heinz Trust. Image courtesy of the Carnegie Museum of Art, copyright Ezra Stoller/Esto, Yossi Milo Gallery.

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Chaimberlain Cottage by Marcel Bruer, photographed by Ezra Stoller

Chamberlain Cottage by Marcel Breuer, Weyland, Massachusetts, 1941. Gelatin silver print. Carnegie Museum of Art, Purchase: gift of the Drue Heinz Trust. Image courtesy of the Carnegie Museum of Art, copyright Ezra Stoller/Esto, Yossi Milo Gallery.

Ezra Stoller’s photographs of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum, Eero Saarinen’s TWA Terminal, Marcel Breuer’s Whitney Museum building, and other marvels of modern architecture have been widely credited with introducing modernism to the masses in the decades after World War II. Now the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh is using a portfolio of Stoller’s photographs that it recently acquired to anchor an exhibit of architectural photography.

The exhibit, “Architecture + Photography,” opened at the museum’s Heinz Architectural Center on April 11 and runs through May 26. It includes a selection of photographs of historic buildings in Charleston, South Carolina, by Frances Benjamin Johnson; selections from a collection of photographs of buildings created by the Carnegie Corporation in the 1920s; and images from the museum’s photography department.

But the centerpiece of the exhibition arguably is the museum’s new portfolio of Stoller photographs. Stoller, who died at 89 in 2004, trained as an architect before turning to photography. Using a large-format camera and shooting almost exclusively in black-and-white, Stoller captured modern buildings at precise angles and in precise lighting—skills that earned him the respect of, and commissions from, some of the leading architects of the modern era.

“I see my work in a way that is analogous to a musician given a score to play who must bring it to life and make the piece as good as it can be,” Stoller was quoted as saying in a brochure for an exhibition of his photographs that was being staged at the Williams College of Art at the time of his death. “While I cannot make a bad building good, I can draw out the strengths in a work that has strength.”

Click through the slideshow to view some of the Stoller photographs that have been included in the Carnegie Museum exhibit.

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