The PIN–UP QUOTE: JULIUS SHULMAN

Portrait of Julius Shulman by Todd Cole.

The PIN–UP QUOTE: JULIUS SHULMAN

Portrait of Julius Shulman in his living room.

The PIN–UP QUOTE: JULIUS SHULMAN

Vegetation, light, and architecture make for a beautiful composition along one of the building’s side walls.

The PIN–UP QUOTE: JULIUS SHULMAN

A generous planting of succulents greets the visitor to Shulman’s main house.

The PIN–UP QUOTE: JULIUS SHULMAN

View along the glass wall into the garden outside of Shulman’s living room. The house was designed in 1949 by Raphael Soriano.

The PIN–UP QUOTE: JULIUS SHULMAN

A view from Shulman’s living room onto the shaded patio.

The PIN–UP QUOTE: JULIUS SHULMAN

The stairs to the entrance of the main building are protected by a wall of steel-framed frosted glass.

The PIN–UP QUOTE: JULIUS SHULMAN

A sign above Shulman’s crowded desk reads: ‘Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill’.

The PIN–UP QUOTE: JULIUS SHULMAN

When I selected an architect for my house, I chose [Raphael] Soriano. I knew it couldn’t be [Richard] Neutra, he was too rigid a person. He designed according to what he wanted. Soriano was rigid, too, that’s why he died a pauper — he drove people away from him. If someone said, Mr. Soriano, there’s a great view up there, can we just angle the roof up a bit to see that? he’d just grumble. He could get very angry. If they persisted, he’d say, there’s the door, goodbye!” He was very focused; he had rigid ideas about the grid, steel framing, and glass, which I accepted, because it was appropriate for the site. I had plenty of land, so I didn’t have a problem with all of the glass. Modern architects didn’t think of privacy in those days. The blessing in my life has been to cherish the concept of Soriano’s steel and glass house that he designed for me. Being inside looking out, you’re still in nature. Nothing’s changed in 50 years. But what does change are the wonderful shadows of the trees on the wall. It’s so wonderful in the morning when you come in here with the light striking that wall from the east, and the sun moves behind me, and it will go over your shoulder, into the south and west. It’s an amazing visual experience that changes continuously. The shadows shape the morning light.

Taken from an interview by Fritz Haeg in PIN–UP 3, Fall Winter 2007/08.

The full version of this interview can also be read in PIN–UP Interviews, published by Powerhouse Books.

Photography by Todd Cole.