I Love This Image

This has become one of my absolute favorite photographs.  If I had to come up with an advertising campaign defending modern society against those who are anti-growth, anti-wealth and anti-technology (like, say, our new National Science Adviser John Holdren) I would use this picture on the posters.  (via Shorpy, which has a huge version here)



  1. Gordon R. Durand:

    Virginia Postrel had an article on Julius Shulman and his photographs in The Atlantic, November, 2006.

  2. Billy Beck:

    "I love this image"

    It tears my heart out. Mid-century Modern: you're looking at the peak of American culture right there, and we will almost certainly never see anything like it again.

  3. dearieme:

    It is a stunning photo. Mind you, if I wanted a glass-walled house it would be for the views. Does it look out over mountains or the sea?

  4. Bob Sykes:

    Go to Shorpys to see how this photo was taken: it was quite a feat.

    I had not thought of it as other than a striking image until I read Billy Beck's comment. I'm 65, and I agree. The America I love caught something terminal in the 60s, that utterly evil decade. That country and culture is rapidly dying.

    But, if Rome is an example (1500 years of empire, 27 BC to 1453 AD), America has a long way to go as an empire. We/it have no credible competitors: Russia, China, the EU are all demographically terminal. Maybe India, if the Pakis don't incinerate them. But, we/it will not be a republic. The Dictatorship may come very, very soon. Most likely before I die.

    PS. You can't see the ocean from there.

  5. Billy Beck:

    Bob: after gaining some considerable familiarity with the subject (Aurelius, Suetonius, Tacitus, et. al., etc.), I've finally settled in for Gibbon's "Decline And Fall".

    There are obvious parallels, of course. However, I think it's a mistake to draw them too closely, and one central reason is that while the ideological underpinnings of Rome started going rotten shortly after Julius Caesar, it's clear to me that geographical aspects of the problem of empire, and their implications, were decisive. We are not going to be overrun by barbarian hordes. We've got 'em all in stock right here at home, and we'll all do a fine job of burning this place down with characteristically American initiative and drive.

    This will be a new chapter in the annals of decline and depravity. All-American.

  6. coyote little sis:

    Besides seeing a stunning photo, I am reminded of the sad demise of women's fashion. I love that these ladies are wearing elegant attire as opposed to the sex worker garb found at most stores these days. Even children's clothing stores want me to dress my girl like a prostitot.

  7. Kelly:

    Hey, I'm just happy to know someone in America can still build something fairly complex (assuming that photo was taken in America). Our outgoing Homeland Security Chief has been quite stumped over the necessity for a concrete footing to support a fence...mind-boggling. Did America really go to the moon in the 60's?