Julius Shulman is widely regarded as the most important architectural photographer in history. Over a seventy year career Shulman not only documented the work of many of the great architects of the 20th century, but he elevated the genre of commercial architectural photography to a fine art form. It is illuminating to recognize the simple fact that the work of architects such as Neutra, Koenig, and Lautner are virtually known all over the world through the images and perspective of Julius Shulman. As Neutra astutely observed, “His work will survive me. Film is stronger and good glossy prints are easier to ship than brute concrete, stainless steel, or even ideas.”
Born in 1910, Shulman and his family moved to California from a small farm in Connecticut at the age of 10. In the mid-thirties, Shulman attended UCLA and Berkeley, never formally registering at either school, but merely auditing classes that appealed to him. In 1936, having just returned to L.A. from Berkeley, he accompanied an acquaintance (one of Richard Neutra’s draftsman) on a visit to Neutra’s Kun Residence which was under construction. Shulman made six photographs on this trip which Neutra liked and subsequently bought. Soon after Neutra introduced Shulman to other architects and urged him to build his career as a photographer. After making over 260,000 images, Shulman announced his “retirement” in 1989, but the next twenty years were filled with major museum and gallery exhibitions around the world, numerous books by publishers such as Taschen and Nazraeli Press, and a growing list of clients seeking his photographic services. In 2000 he met the German industrial/architectural photographer Juergen Nogai who had come up to Shulman’s studio to meet the legendary man. The two have been collaborating photographically ever since, revisiting locations previously photographed by Shulman and building a client list of new contemporary architects. In 2005, the Getty Research Institute acquired Shulman’s vast archive, but he continued to work until the age of 98. Shulman passed on Wednesday July 15th, 2009 in his home in Los Angeles.
Juergen Nogai was born in Germany in 1953. He studied Fine Arts, Movie, Theatre and Television Sciences, German language and Psychologyat Universities in; Cologne, Osnabrueck, and Bremen Germany. This eventually led him to a fine arts photography career, with numerous shows and exhibitions. He then turned his photographic eye towards commercial and architectural photography, over 25 years ago. He worked on countless assignments for his hometown city of Bremen, Germany, doing numerous tourist guides, museum guides; documenting art for museums and galleries as well as for individual artists. He also worked on advertising campaigns for Mercedes, Kraft /Jacobs/Suchard, and Becks Beer, Airbus Industries and Esa-European Space Agency to name a few. His career changed course yet again, when he married and moved to Los Angeles in 2000.
In 1999 Juergen was on assignment in Los Angeles for TASCHEN, photographing the contemporary views of the homes, which were part of the Case Study House Program, for the forthcoming book “CASE STUDY HOUSES– The Complete CSH Program.” While traveling around Los Angeles, Juergen fatefully happened upon the home of a good friend of the renowned architectural photographer Julius Shulman. And although Julius Shulman’s original photographs of these iconic houses were the basis of the CASE STUDY book, the two photographers had never met. Shortly thereafter, they were introduced and began an almost immediate friendship and rewarding equal collaboration, which continues to this day. Juergen and Julius are represented by Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica, CA.
As well as working on his own assignments, projects and books, Juergen and Julius have produced books, publications, numerous magazine features and countless private assignments together. A cover article about Julius Shulman and Juergen appeared in the Los Angeles Times Home section in March 2005.
For the past four years, Juergen has taught workshops in architectural photography at the Palm Springs Photo Festival, and has been invited to teach a 7-day master class in architectural photography at the Glass House, in New Canaan, Conn., in the fall of 2009. Juergen has been a guest lecturer at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California and at the Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, California. He was participating in a discussion about his work with Julius Shulman, with Wim de Wit, head of Special Collections and Visual Resources in the Department of Architecture at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, at the newly opened Annenberg Space for Photography as apart of their new Thursday Evening Lecture series.His most recent book project was for TASCHEN as a major contributor to new book due out this Spring, on Frank Lloyd Wright–XL WRIGHT VOL lll. He is currently at work on a new book for the University of Nebraska Press, “SACRED SITES OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. ” These photographs will be the body of an exhibition at the Autry National Center of the American West in 2011.