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Ezra Stoller (1914-2004)


Stoller, Ezra

Personal Information

Birth/Death:    1914-2004
Occupation:    American architectural photographer
Location:    New York, NY

AIA Affiliation

Not a member of the American Institute of Architects.
Recipient of the AIA Architectural Photography Medal in 1961

Biographical Sources

Biographical Information:
Contributed by Special Collections, Robert E. Kennedy Library, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo:
Photographer Ezra Stoller was born in Chicago on May 16, 1915. He graduated in 1938 from the School of Architecture and Allied Arts at New York University, where his interest in photography began. During World War II, he taught photography at the Army Signal Corps Photo Center in New York City.
After the war, Stoller began his career in earnest, eventually earning acknowledgement as the leading architectural photographer of the twentieth century. "So influential was Mr. Stoller's work that many architects didn't feel a building was complete until it had been 'Stollerized.' He came to have as much influence on architectural taste as did the architects whose buildings he recorded," wrote Robert Campbell in The Boston Globe.
Stoller's AIA obituary noted:
"It was Stoller's architect's eye and discipline that moved him to capture on film the structure and spirit, body and soul of the icons of Modern architecture, from the Louis Kahn's Salk Institute in La Jolla to Eero Saarinen's TWA terminal in New York and close to all of the great postwar buildings in between. Often, the image we carry in our mind's eye of any particular great building was first seen through a lens by Ezra Stoller. He managed, in a career that spanned more than five decades, to capture not only the architecture, but also the times and culture embodied in each piece of work. His photos continue to be featured in countless books and magazine articles, and in art exhibitions worldwide."
Stoller received the AIA Architectural Photography Medal in 1961. Later that decade, Stoller founded Esto Photographics, the agency that has become one of the architecture profession's best-known and most respected houses of photography. His daughter, Erica Stoller, now serves as director of the firm in Mamaroneck, N.Y.
In 1990, Abrams published Modern Architecture: Photographs by Ezra Stoller, featuring 400 of his most important images.
Stoller died October 29, 2004, at his home in Williamstown, Mass., following complications of a stroke. In addition to his daughter, Stoller is survived by his wife, Helen and his brother, Claude Stoller, FAIA.
Campbell, Robert, "Ezra Stoller, 89; His Photos Influenced Modern Designs," November 3, 2004.
"Ezra Stoller, Architect-Photographer, 1915–2004" AIA, 2004.

Related Records

Archival Holdings

Special Collections, Robert E. Kennedy Library, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Ezra Stoller Collection, 1947, 1987, MS 148
This collection contains nine mounted vintage images (13 prints) by famed architectural photographer Ezra Stoller of the Clark residence in Lake Placid, New York, taken in 1947. The house was built for the Clark family and is believed to have been designed by Douglas Haskell (1899-1979), an architect by training, who served as a journalist with the Architectural Record and the Architectural Forum. Link to online finding aid at: