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Julius Shulman Los Angeles: The Birth of a Modern Metropolis Hardcover – April 5, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


". . .hundreds of stunning photos of Los Angeles and its environs, many never seen before, by the documentarian of California modernism--it's radical, dude." ~The Wall Street Journal

". . .shows the breadth of both the location and the man himself." ~Dwell

Even for urban planning wonks, it reveals more about how the built environment evolves than could a million pages of zoning code. Captured in the very moment when Southern California burst into greatness, Shulman's images tell the story of what happens when national ambition meets with a blank landscape.

California Planning and Development Report

"The photographer's acute gaze captured an eclectic array of images, from the pretty girls at Lucy's lingerie shop (1948) to an early view of Los Angeles City Hall (1935), as well as new factories and their workers, Googie-style restaurants and drive-in movie theaters, supermarkets, streetscapes and schools. His vistas of unspoiled outlying areas — cows in pastures, farm laborers in fields and girls riding horses, sites of the new suburbs-to-come — document a now-vanished past." ~Los Angeles Times

“…the publisher’s fourth on the photographer and arguable its best, if only because Shulman did his most memorable work in the city. As a documentarian of modernism, specifically the work of Richard Neutra and Charles Eames, Shulman is unsurpassed, but while many of these pictures are now classics, another side of his work has been mostly overlooked. That would be the street scenes, the night photography, and the portraits that document a place not serene, clean, and beautiful, but bustling and fraught with tension—the city Shulman lived and breathed his entire life.” ~Nylon for Guys
“These photographic works show Los Angeles as a living organism both vibrant and volatile depending on the neighborhood...” ~Sartorial Life
“Now you can see the Central City of the 1930s, ‘40s and 50s through a pair of the most discerning eyes to ever get behind the lens—Julius Shulman.” ~Los Angeles Downtown News

Julius Shulman: Los Angeles: The Birth of A Modern Metropolis by Sam Lubell and Douglas Woods, presents the late, great photographer’s images of his city, many of them never published before.” ~Chicago Tribune

"Although we all miss our “Uncle Julius,” the publication of this new volume
definitely begs the question: do we really need yet another book? Julius
Shulman Los Angeles answers the question with a resounding YES...To
paraphrase Paul Cézanne’s famous comment about Claude Monet:
Shulman was only an eye—but what an eye!" ~Society of Architectural Historians

From the Author

We began this book with Julius and are sad that he did not get to see it's completion. Los Angeles was near and dear to him and he was excited to share these rare images.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Rizzoli; 3.6.2011 edition (April 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0847835480
  • ISBN-13: 978-0847835485
  • Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 1.1 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #361,920 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By LAC81 on June 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This may very well be the best Los Angeles photography book i've ever come across and i've seen many of them. Julius Shulman's images of LA modernism are well known, but now we can also see his photographs of LA's other styles of architecture like Beax Arts, Art Deco, etc. I will have to disagree with the "product description", however. One of the best things about this book for me is that the majority of the buildings shown here are still standing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gerald A. Vanslambrouck on June 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I never knew LA could look so good. This book is a must for people who enjoy see a city when it was at its high point.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robin on June 23, 2014
Format: Hardcover
What a surprising book! I'm familiar with Julius Schulman's work having bought the comprehensive Taschen Julius Shulman, Modernism Rediscovered and I've seen some other books of his photos but all of them are essentially concerned with architectural photos from his long career. The nice thing about this book is that it looks at the human face Los Angeles, of course there are plenty of building photos in the architectural style of having no people present and the Houses chapter probably has the most of this photo-type but in the rest of the book it's everyday LA in the forties to the seventies.

The five chapters: City; Development; Houses; Living; Work cover an amazing collection of photo opportunities and it seems that Schulman could never turn down an assignment. Page 178 has a 1965 photo from Farm Profit magazine showing a family round the dining table just about to eat a Thanksgiving meal, page 182 has a photo of a Newport Beach car wash from 1954, page 191 features a 1951 home economics class at the Portola High School, El Cerrito, page 223 shows a conveyer belt full of potato chips in the Bell Brand Foods plant in 1954. All of these are examples of Schulman's work I never expected to see and that's why I think the book is rather special. Nicely, throughout the pages, there are a few of the old favorites: the night scene of LA from Koenig's Case Study House 22; the evening shot of Neutra's Kaufman House with the fading sunset on the horizon; the May Company store on Wilshire Boulevard.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Robert Heller on January 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beautiful book. I've always loved Shulman's photos, and this doesn't disappoint. Not only are there some of the usual hits from his more familiar Modernist work, but he captures the budding years of Los Angeles perfectly. For those who love history as well as stunning visuals, buy this book.
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