Marvin Rand’s Gorgeous Photos of California Modern

“Although he operated in the shadow of his more famous rival, the noted architectural photographer Julius Shulman, Rand was an artist with the camera, admired for his grasp of the interplay among form, line and light in the structures he caught on film.” So ran the LA Times 2009 obituary for architectural photographer and Los Angeles native Marvin Rand ( (1924–2009).

 

Craig Ellwood, Case Study House #18, Beverly Hills, 1958.

Craig Ellwood, Case Study House #18, Beverly Hills, 1958.

 

An honorary member of the American Institute of Architects, Rand opened his studio in 1950. He photographed and promoted the works of such notables as Frank Gehry, Rudolph Schindler, Welton Beckett, Frank Lloyd Wright, Craig Ellwood and Edward Killingsworth. His task was simple: make the architects’ work looks good on paper. The result are photographs that might have been created by graphic artists. Clean lines engineered in steel and glass, harmony of design and impeccable minimalism were signatures of purist mid-Century California architecture. Rand’s work captures the skill and allure of the designers adherence to simplicity, in which it’s hard to identity a single identifying feature; the unified interior and exterior appear to merge seamlessly. Through Rand’s eye we see the detail. Buildings appear as places we want to enter and explore. Little wonder architects loved him.

 

Killingsworth, Brady & Smith, Killingsworth, Brady & Smith’s own office, Long Beach, 1957.

Killingsworth, Brady & Smith, Killingsworth, Brady & Smith’s own office, Long Beach, 1957.

Craig Ellwood, Palevsky House, Palm Springs, 1971

Craig Ellwood, Palevsky House, Palm Springs, 1971

Thornton Ladd, Paul Tuttle House, Pasadena, 1952. Photo by Marvin Rand.

Thornton Ladd, Paul Tuttle House, Pasadena, 1952. Photo by Marvin Rand.

Marvin Rand’s 1949 image of a Los Angeles drive-in by architect Douglas Honnold.

Marvin Rand’s 1949 image of a Los Angeles drive-in by architect Douglas Honnold.

Richard Dorman & Associates, Vault Roof House, Sherman Oaks, 1959Courtesy of the Estate of Marvin Rand

Richard Dorman & Associates, Vault Roof House, Sherman Oaks, 1959. Courtesy of the Estate of Marvin Rand

Louis Kahn Salk Institute, La Jolla, 1963Courtesy of the Estate of Marvin Rand

Louis Kahn Salk Institute, La Jolla, 1963 – Courtesy of the Estate of Marvin Rand

William L. Pereira & Associates, Pereira Residence, Los Angeles, 1964Courtesy of the Estate of Marvin Rand

William L. Pereira & Associates, Pereira Residence, Los Angeles, 1964

Craig Ellwood, Palevsky House, Palm Springs, 1971Courtesy of the Estate of Marvin Rand

Craig Ellwood, Palevsky House, Palm Springs, 1971 – Courtesy of the Estate of Marvin Rand

Welton Becket & Associates, Capitol Records, Hollywood, 1956

Welton Becket & Associates, Capitol Records, Hollywood, 1956

Killingsworth, Brady & Smith, Cambridge Investment Inc. Building, Long Beach, 1960

Killingsworth, Brady & Smith, Cambridge Investment Inc. Building, Long Beach, 1960

Craig Ellwood, Case Study House #16, Bel Air, 1953

Craig Ellwood, Case Study House #16, Bel Air, 1953

A Lutah Maria Riggs–designed house in Carpinteria, CA, shot by Rand in 1961.

A Lutah Maria Riggs–designed house in Carpinteria, CA, shot by Rand in 1961.

Hunt House, Malibu, 1955

Hunt House, Malibu, 1955

Frank Gehry, Steeves Residence, Los Angeles, 1963Courtesy of the Estate of Marvin Rand

Frank Gehry, Steeves Residence, Los Angeles, 1963 – Courtesy of the Estate of Marvin Rand

Pereira & Luckman, LAX Theme Building, Los Angeles, 1961.

Pereira & Luckman, LAX Theme Building, Los Angeles, 1961.

The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, The Music Center, Los Angeles 1967.

The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, The Music Center, Los Angeles 1967.

Welton Becket & Associates, Cinerama Dome, Hollywood, 1963

Welton Becket & Associates, Cinerama Dome, Hollywood, 1963

Edward Durell, Stone Stuart Pharmaceutical Company, Pasadena, 1958

Edward Durell, Stone Stuart Pharmaceutical Company, Pasadena, 1958

William L. Pereira & Associates, University of California, Irvine, 1966

William L. Pereira & Associates, University of California, Irvine, 1966

Honnold & Rex Office building on Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, 1961.

Honnold & Rex Office building on Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, 1961.

Take home and enjoy Marvin Rand’s work in California Captured published by Phaidon.