Julius Shulman Case Study House No 22lr

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. In May 1960, the Brooklyn-born photographer headed to architect Pierre Koenig’s Stahl House, a glass-­enclosed Hollywood Hills home with a breathtaking view of Los Angeles—one of 36 Case Study Houses that were part of an architectural experiment extolling the virtues of modernist theory and industrial materials. 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. 22. 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. The photo, which he called “one of my masterpieces,” is the most successful real estate image ever taken. It perfected the art of aspirational staging, turning a house into the embodiment of the Good Life, of stardusted Hollywood, of California as the Promised Land. And, thanks to Shulman, that dream now includes a glass box in the sky.  

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By Barbara Thornburg Case Study House No. 22 may be one of the most photographed homes in the world. Julius Shulman took this iconic shot of the house on the warm evening of May 9, 1960. The two young women seen chatting, Cynthia Tindle and Ann Lightbody, were not the owners but students whom Shulman recruited to be models. All the furnishings were staged for the shoot, supplied by furniture firm Van Keppel-Green – but only temporarily. “My mom told me she wished they would have left the furniture,” says Shari Stahl Gronwald, who grew up in the home. It was all part of the editor of Art & Architecture magazine’s Case Study House program to promote modernism. 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. 22.Back to L.A. at Home

By Barbara Thornburg Case Study House No. 22 may be one of the most photographed homes in the world. Julius Shulman took this iconic shot of the house on the warm evening of May 9, 1960. The two young women seen chatting, Cynthia Tindle and Ann Lightbody, were not the owners but students whom Shulman recruited to be models. All the furnishings were staged for the shoot, supplied by furniture firm Van Keppel-Green – but only temporarily. “My mom told me she wished they would have left the furniture,” says Shari Stahl Gronwald, who grew up in the home. It was all part of the editor of Art & Architecture magazine’s Case Study House program to promote modernism. 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. 22.Back to L.A. at Home (J. Paul Getty Trust)

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