All you need to know about Ezra Stoller
See the beautiful images and understand the ideals that raised this Mid-Century Modern photographer above the rest
If you can picture the clean lines and hopeful ideals of mid-century modernism, it’s thanks, in large part to Ezra Stoller. The American photographer was the most intense and exacting chronicler of US architecture during the post-war period, when building by such pioneers as Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe, Marcel Breuer and Louis Kahn were not only simple, sleek and beautiful, but also expressed a certain high-minded optimism about the lives we might live within these creations.
Stoller’s crystal clear, exquisitely executed photography not only encapsulate many of the best-known architectural icons of the period, his pictures also express much of the hopefulness, progressive ideals and positivity of the 1950s and 60s.
In our new book, Ezra Stoller: A Photographic History of Modern American Architecture, author Pierluigi Serraino characterise Stoller as “an architectural photographer of immeasurable consequence in crafting the enduring mythology of Modern architecture in postwar United States.
“The New York-based photographer brought to the fore the majority of the giants of the Modern Movement, both homegrown and those who emigrated to America in many successive waves,” Serraino writes. “Over the course of decades of feverish photographic activity, he produced countless stunning pictures that affirmed the significance of American Modernism worldwide. This book is conceived as a pictorial history of twentieth-century Modern American architecture — both well-known and obscure — through the eyes of this unique individual, whose role in its trajectory is yet to be fully appreciated. Stoller captured an architectural impulse in the making as the Modern Movement was irreversibly entering the North American continent. He influenced the way Modernism was visually absorbed and processed in the United States, as well as how audiences remember it today.”
In his new book Serraino brings back Stoller’s vision with pin-sharp clarity; having surveyed the entirety of the photographer’s sizable archive, Ezra Stoller: A Photographic History of Modern American Architecture one of the first books to present the breadth of Stoller’s largely unseen archive of images, brought to life through exquisite color and duotone black-and-white reproductions.
Running from the photographers masterful shot of Alvar AaltoFinnish Pavilion, at NewYork World’s Fair in 1939, through to his later work in the 1970s with Louis Kahn, IM Pei and Richard Meier.
An extraordinary survey of Modern American architecture, captured by one of the most talented architectural photographers of the 20th century, Ezra Stoller: A Photographic History of Modern American Architecture features the photographer’s most famous images, alongside unknown masterpieces and previously unpublished works.
The book brings to light Stoller’s extraordinary photographic ability and his unparalleled contribution to the history of architecture in the United States, while also chronicling the work of the greatest architects of the Modern movement, including Philip Johnson, Mies van der Rohe, Marcel Breuer, Eero Saarinen, and Frank Lloyd Wright.
Essential reading for fans of photography, of architecture, and of the Modernist aesthetic, the book is also a treat for historians of the period, and anyone who sympathises with the lofty ideals that underpinned these beautiful buildings. To appreciate it in full, head to the store to pre-order Ezra Stoller: A Photographic History of Modern American Architecture and be among the first to receive it when it’s published on 1 November. Meanwhile, check out the video below.