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Design Icon: Julius Shulman

Julius Shulman was a famous American photographer known for his residential photography of modernist residences in midcentury Southern California.

Known as “one shot Shulman,” Julius Shulman (1910-2009) launched his career after a chance meeting with architect Richard Neutra. In the 1930s, Shulman was an amateur photographer—gifted, but without professional ambition—when he was invited by an architect friend to visit Richard Neutra’s Kun House. Shulman, who’d never seen a modern residence, took a handful of snapshots with the Kodak vest-pocket camera his sister had given him, and sent copies to his friend as a thank-you. When Neutra saw the images, he requested a meeting, bought the photos, and asked the 26-year-old if he’d like more work. Shulman accepted and—virtually on a whim—his career took off. Throughout his life he documented more than 6,500 projects, capturing postwar American culture through architecture. 

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