History of architectural Photography

February 2, 2014
Kelmscott Manor: In the Attics
  • Burnap Post House, Esherick House, Louis Kahn, Philadelphia, Pa., 1966

    Ezra Stoller/Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery

  • Hirshhorn Museum, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Washington, D.C., 1974

    Ezra Stoller/Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery

  • Brenner House, Harry Weese, Champaign, Ill., 1952

    Ezra Stoller/Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery

  • Catalano House, Eduardo Catalano, Raleigh, N.C., 1955

    Ezra Stoller/Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery

  • Heinz Factory, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Pittsburgh, Pa., 1958Ezra Stoller/Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery
  • Ezra Stoller/Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery
  • Design Research, Benjamin Thompson, Cambridge, Mass., 1970

    Ezra Stoller/Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery

  • Exxon Building on Sixth Avenue, Harrison and Abramovitz, New York, N.Y., 1974

    Ezra Stoller/Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery

  • Heinz Factory, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Pittsburgh, Pa., 1958

    Ezra Stoller/Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery

  • John Hancock Chicago construction, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Chicago, Ill., 1967

    Ezra Stoller/Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery

  • John Hancock Chicago construction, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Chicago, Ill., 1970

    Ezra Stoller/Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery

  • Johnson Wax Tower, Frank Lloyd Wright, Racine, Wis., 1950

    Ezra Stoller/Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery

  • Lever House, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, New York, N.Y., 1952

    Ezra Stoller/Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery

  • Manufacturer's Trust Company, Fifth Avenue, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, New York, N.Y., 1954

    Ezra Stoller/Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery

  • Marin County Civic Center, Frank Lloyd Wright, San Rafael, Calif., 1963

    Ezra Stoller/Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery

  • McMath Solar Telescope, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Kitt Peak, Ariz., 1962

    Ezra Stoller/Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery

  • Miami Parking Garage, Robert Law Weed and Associates, Miami, Fla., 1949

    Miami Parking Garage, Robert Law Weed and Associates, Miami, Fla., 1949Ezra Stoller/Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery

  • Olivetti Underwood Factory, Louis Kahn, Harrisburg, Pa., 1969

    Ezra Stoller/Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery

  • Philip Morris Research Center Tower, Ulrich Franzen, Richmond, Va., 1972

    Ezra Stoller/Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery

  • Salk Institute of Biological Research, Louis Kahn, La Jolla, Calif., 1977

    Ezra Stoller/Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery

  • Seagram Building, Mies van der Rohe with Philip Johnson, New York, N.Y., 1958

    Seagram Building, Mies van der Rohe with Philip Johnson, New York, N.Y., 1958Ezra Stoller/Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery

  • Seagram Building, Mies van der Rohe with Philip Johnson, New York, N.Y., 1958

    Ezra Stoller/Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery

  • Seagram Building, Mies van der Rohe with Philip Johnson, New York, N.Y., 1958

    Ezra Stoller/Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery

  • TWA Terminal at Idlewild (now JFK) Airport, Eero Saarinen, New York, N.Y., 1962

    Ezra Stoller/Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery

  • TWA Terminal at Idlewild (now JFK) Airport, Eero Saarinen, New York, N.Y., 1962

    Ezra Stoller/Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery

  • TWA Terminal at Idlewild (now JFK) Airport, Eero Saarinen, New York, N.Y., 1962

    Ezra Stoller/Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery

  • United Nations, International Team of Architects Led by Wallace K. Harrison, New York, N.Y., 1952

    Ezra Stoller/Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery

  • United Nations, International Team of Architects Led by Wallace K. Harrison, New York, N.Y., 1952

    Ezra Stoller/Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery

  • United Nations, International Team of Architects Led by Wallace K. Harrison, New York, N.Y., 1952

    Ezra Stoller/Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery

Ezra Stoller probably wouldn't care about this question, but let's indulge it anyways: What makes a "beautiful" photograph?

To a degree, a lot depends on the subject, right? Would Ansel Adams have been half as famous if those landscapes hadn't already done most of the work?

Then again, beauty is also in the eye of the beholder. Bill Brandt didn't design the human body, so how can he take credit for its beauty in his photos? Because he knew how to capture the poetry of all its curves and angles โ€” forcing us, in turn, to see the body in ways we hadn't seen it before.

Architectural photography, though often relegated to its own genre, is no different. The task is to capture the intention behind someone else's design โ€” to distill the philosophy of a building into a single, digestible image that transcends explanation. It's not easy, but when it's done well it looks effortless. So much so that you're left admiring the building alone, and likely never think twice about the person who helped you see it.

Portrait of Ezra Stoller with view camera, circa 1965. Bill Maris/Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery hide caption

toggle caption Bill Maris/Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery

Portrait of Ezra Stoller with view camera, circa 1965.

Bill Maris/Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery
Source: www.npr.org
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