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Julius Shulman: Modernism Rediscovered, 3 Vol. Hardcover – October 30, 2007
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Top customer reviews
Just be aware, it is a large book set, and very heavy.
I get the impression looking through the pages that there maybe more interior photos than exteriors and what a visual treat these interiors are. In photo after photo there is a sense of spaciousness so typical of most modernist houses and many of the shots show how rooms extend into other living areas.
The interiors from the Forties to the late Seventies also yield a fascinating opportunity to study the furniture and fittings the owners thought would work well in a modern home. Because of the large page size some of these domestic interior photos are twenty-three inches wide on a spread so the detail is amazing. Another interesting point about a Shulman photo is the addition of people in his work. Apparently frowned upon by architects in the past he took the view that it was an opportunity to reduce the purity (and possibly elitism) of Modernism in a domestic setting.
Apart from all the great home photos, commercial work includes: corporate headquarters of large companies, schools, research facilities, banks, retail units and restaurants. The same sense of space and depth comes across in these images and I think you'll come to the same conclusion as I did about Shulman's photography: that he always managed to frame his compositions to captured the spatial essence of a building.
The production of the three books is exemplary as you would expect from Taschen. The hundreds of photos are printed on quality paper with a 200dpi screen and presented in an elegant but simple layout. Each featured commission has between one and six photos with a short piece of background copy. All of this is a wonderful tribute to a remarkable architectural photographer. I know I'll be enjoying these three books for a long, long time.
***FOR AN INSIDE LOOK click 'customer images' under the cover.
UPDATE Taschen have issued Shulman's work in different editions but with the same title. Check out the ISBN, page numbers and size in Product Details.
The only criticism I have of these books is that, as with most mid century architectural tomes, most of the photos in the book are from locations in California by architects we've already heard of. I would like to see photos of buildings in other parts of the country by lesser known, but equally inspired, architects.
Finally, I hope that, with the abundance of photos in Shulman's archive, this Modernism Rediscovered series continues with more books in the future. I know that I will be first in line to buy future volumes if they are as well done as the original Modernism Rediscovered book and these three follow-up books.