Californian modern architecture is worth time travelling for…

When the forgotten photographs from the archives of Julius Schulman were first published in the year 2000, the publisher Benedikt Taschen had no idea of the mid-century sustainability trend the images would trigger. Now there’s a splendid sequel…

In the post-War decades, few people were interested in the residential and commercial buildings of California. But when Taschen published an illustrated book in 2000 featuring images by the architecture photographer Julius Schulman from the 1950s, suddenly the almost forgotten low-rise buildings, bungalows and swimming pools in the hills of Los Angeles and Palm Springs became the focus of retro-crazy Millennials. It was a look at post-War carefree consumerism, and Schulman’s photographs often showed residents relaxing in their buildings and enjoying their facilities. In fact many of the details were imitated in the television series Mad Men. 

Now a comprehensive successor to the book has been released in three volumes, titled ‘Modernism Rediscovered’. It reveals over 400 architectural gems not only from California, but from across the United States, Mexico, Israel and Hong Kong. Each image was scrupulously chosen by publisher Benedikt Taschen, from a selection of over 260,000 photographs. In addition to the masterfully composed imagery, there is an introduction by the photography critic Owen Edwards and a detailed biography of the Californian historian Philip J. Ethington. 

Photos: Julius Schulman / Taschen