A Lensman's Legacy
Edited by Annie Block, Mark McMenamin and Meghan Edwards -- Interior Design, 11/1/2009 12:00:00 AM
Julius Shulman appears in Eric Bricker's documentary Visual Acoustics. Photo courtesy of Michelle Oliver/Arthouse Films.
Documenting modernist masterworks, he ensured immortality for such architects as Pierre Koenig, John Lautner, and Richard Neutra in the American psyche. Now Julius Shulman's own memory is living on through tributes around the U.S. First came Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman, in which filmmaker Eric Bricker traced his subject's half-century career. The documentary, narrated by Dustin Hoffman, debuted at film festivals less than a month before his death in July, at age 98, and is now in theaters. Meanwhile, "Palm Springs Modern: Photographs by Julius Shulman," a 100-image reminder of the California resort's golden years, continues through January at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum of Art.
George's Beverly Hills; photo courtesy of Andrew George. Shulman's 1935 Self Portrait Diving Into Newport Bay on view at San Francisco's E6 Gallery; photo courtesy of Craig Krull Gallery.
Shulman's work has even found new life at San Francisco's E6 Gallery, which is showing his early photographs from the Bay Area alongside the work of a protégé who studied with Shulman over a 25-year period. Andrew George's 3-by-4-foot C-prints, paying homage to his mentor's mastery of composition and light, uncover what he calls "found visual arrangements," from spare Istanbul interiors to shadowed Paris bricks. All prove George's theory: "Beauty cannot be limited by preconception or geography." A Shulman-sounding sentiment indeed.