“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.
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.
Craig Ellwood, Palevsky House, Palm Springs, 1971
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.
Richard Dorman & Associates, Vault Roof House, Sherman Oaks, 1959. Courtesy 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, 1964
Craig Ellwood, Palevsky House, Palm Springs, 1971 – Courtesy of the Estate of Marvin Rand
Welton Becket & Associates, Capitol Records, Hollywood, 1956
Killingsworth, Brady & Smith, Cambridge Investment Inc. Building, Long Beach, 1960
Craig Ellwood, Case Study House #16, Bel Air, 1953
A Lutah Maria Riggs–designed house in Carpinteria, CA, shot by Rand in 1961.
Hunt House, Malibu, 1955
Frank Gehry, Steeves Residence, Los Angeles, 1963 – Courtesy of the Estate of Marvin Rand
Pereira & Luckman, LAX Theme Building, Los Angeles, 1961.
The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, The Music Center, Los Angeles 1967.
Welton Becket & Associates, Cinerama Dome, Hollywood, 1963
Edward Durell, Stone Stuart Pharmaceutical Company, Pasadena, 1958
William L. Pereira & Associates, University of California, Irvine, 1966
Honnold & Rex Office building on Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, 1961.
Take home and enjoy Marvin Rand’s work in California Captured published by Phaidon.