Who was Julius Shulman? He was an architectural photographer, born in and moved to Los Angeles fairly early, at age He took up photography mainly as a hobby, taking mostly nature shots. A friend of his was an assistant to architect Richard Neutra.
This was the time when we were building rockets to go to the moon and we were planning on colonizing Mars, and this sort of popular zeitgeist is caught perfectly in that picture. For decades, the California Dream meant the chance to own a stucco home on a sliver of paradise. The point was the yard with the palm trees, not the contour of the walls. Julius Shulman helped change all that. Shulman photographed most of the houses in the project, helping demystify modernism by highlighting its graceful simplicity and humanizing its angular edges. But none of his other pictures was more influential than the one he took of Case Study House No. To show the essence of this air-breaking cantilevered building, Shulman set two glamorous women in cocktail dresses inside the house, where they appear to be floating above a mythic, twinkling city.
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Julius Shulman took this iconic shot of the house on the warm evening of May 9, The two young women seen chatting, Cynthia Tindle and Ann Lightbody, were not the owners but students whom Shulman recruited to be models. Many of the owners received cost breaks on building materials in exchange for allowing photos to run in the magazine. They were also required to open their doors to the public for a month. Read the full story on growing up in Case Study House No.