“With its glamorous orchestration of color, texture, and mood, Shulman’s image conveys the impression of a high fashion shot or film still in which the severity and restraint of the architecture create a backdrop for a drama involving an upwardly mobile young couple who are attractive, sophisticated, and tasteful yet approachable exemplars of the modern lifestyle—an images that perfectly slides avant-garde and the popular imaginations view of what might constitute 'domestic cool'.”
-Elizabeth A.T. Smith
Julius Shulman’s photographs of mid-century modernist homes created a narrative to an architectural subject by adding people to the photographs. An entire lifestyle was portrayed in his photos by placing people inside the homes. He gives us an almost voyeuristic view of the private lives of a married couple at the heart of domesticity inside a glass house and the home’s ambiguity between indoor and outdoor life. The Case Study houses' interweaving of indoor and outdoor space and their breezy informality depicted a uniquely Californian way of living and domestic architecture. The interior and exterior spaces are an extension of each other, with ceilings and walls that do not enclose the space but rather open it up to the elements. The gorgeous photographs contrast the opaque and transparent, and play with the space’s depth and flatness to reflect the strong clear light that seems to sharpen and idealize forms and create precise shadows.
(Photographs by Julius Shulman)