Shulman’s architectural photography in San Diego.

Ford Building, 1934, Digital reproduction of a photograph by Julius Shulman. The first known photo by Shulman in San Diego County.
Ford Building, 1934, Digital reproduction of a photograph by Julius Shulman. The first known photo by Shulman in San Diego County.

Today I headed to the San Diego Central Library Art Gallery to view some amazing photographs. Many images captured by famous architectural photographer Julius Shulman are on display free to the public for a couple more weeks. The exhibition, which concludes on January 19, 2020, is titled Julius Shulman: Modern San Diego.

Julius Shulman’s renowned work spans seven decades, from 1934 to 2007. He is best known for his photography in Los Angeles and Palm Springs, but he did photograph a variety of projects in San Diego. He worked mostly for architects and publishers, and his images have appeared in many leading magazines.

I was interested to see photos of historic buildings that no longer exist, and other iconic buildings that I often pass during my walks.

Those who are fascinated by San Diego’s history and architecture should head to the 9th floor of the Central Library to experience this exhibition. Shulman had a discerning eye, capturing the lines, depth and essence of the structures he photographed. The dozens of images you’ll encounter are not only brilliant, but they will help you to travel back in time and see San Diego in a whole new light.

An exhibition of important architectural photographs, titled Julius Shulman: Modern San Diego, at the San Diego Central Library Gallery.
An exhibition of important architectural photographs, titled Julius Shulman: Modern San Diego, at the San Diego Central Library Art Gallery.
Shulman began as an amateur photographer using a Vest Pocket Kodak. His eventual career in architectural photography would span seven decades.
Shulman began as an amateur photographer using a Vest Pocket Kodak. His eventual career in architectural photography would span seven decades.
Cover of The Photography of Architecture and Design, by Julius Shulman.
Cover of The Photography of Architecture and Design, by Julius Shulman.
Capri Theater, 1954, Digital reproduction of photograph by Julius Shulman. Architecture by Frank Guys. The building, at Park Boulevard and Essex Street, was demolished in 2003.
Capri Theater, 1954, Digital reproduction of photograph by Julius Shulman. Architecture by Frank Guys. The building, at Park Boulevard and Essex Street, was demolished in 2003.
El Cortez Hotel, 1957, Digital reproduction of photograph by Julius Shulman. The 1956 building remodel added the world's first outdoor glass elevator--the Starlite Roof Express.
El Cortez Hotel, 1957, Digital reproduction of photograph by Julius Shulman. The 1956 building remodel added the world’s first outdoor glass elevator–the Starlite Roof Express.
San Diego State College, 1968, Digital reproduction of photograph by Julius Shulman. Architecture by Mosher and Drew. Interior of Aztec Center, which was demolished in 2011.
San Diego State College, 1968, Digital reproduction of photograph by Julius Shulman. Architecture by Mosher and Drew. Interior of Aztec Center, which was demolished in 2011.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

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Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

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