Preeminent American architectural photographer Ezra Stoller was born in Chicago in 1915. Raised in New York City, Stoller studied industrial design at New York University. As a student, he began his career photographing buildings, architectural models, and sculptures. Using perspective and lighting to create a sense of drama, form, and texture, Stoller translated three-dimensional buildings into a two-dimensional medium.
Uniquely able to visualize the formal and spatial goals of modern architecture, many buildings are now recognized and remembered through Stoller’s iconic imagery. During his career, he worked closely with many of the period’s leading architects, including Frank Lloyd Wright, Paul Rudolph, I. M. Pei, Gordon Bunshaft, Eero Saarinen, Richard Meier, and Mies van der Rohe, among others.
Also in this circle of renowned architects was Marcel Breuer, who was commissioned to build a new museum of American art, what was then the Whitney, in 1963. Though architects of the period designed largely in glass and steel, Breuer was known for his masterful stone and concrete designs, which he had created for institutional buildings and private homes across Europe. Described by the New York Times in 1966 as “harsh, but handsome,” Breuer’s granite façade is accented by a distinctive array of asymmetrical windows, along with an expansive glass front to the lobby entryway.
In the same year, Ezra Stoller was commissioned to document the newly finished building. The result was a series of dramatic black-and-white gelatin silver prints titled “Whitney Museum, Marcel Breuer, New York, NY, 1966,” and included a daytime exterior view facing down Madison Avenue, the exterior at night, and a view from the lower lobby. All three works are now available in a limited edition of 20, each measuring 20 x 16 inches and ranging in price from $6,500 to $11,000 each.
These striking images portray the building in its newly finished state. Since taking over the building, the Museum, with the help of architecture firm Beyer Blinder Belle, has restored various aspects of architectural landmark with the hopes of preserving Breuer’s original vision for the space. Shop the prints online or in person at The Met Breuer.
Learn more about our new Met Breuer online here.