The Dark Room

by Marvin Rand

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Artist Statement

If you couldn’t guess from the nine-foot-tall replica of a 35 millimeter Argus camera on this storefront’s façade, the structure pictured in The Dark Room was a camera shop on LA’s Miracle Mile. Designed by Marcus P. Miller in 1933, it’s an excellent example of programmatic architecture—when a building’s physical shape advertises its purpose. The black Vitrolite glass “camera” is complete with a shutter speed indicator, a winder, dual rangefinders, and of course a round “camera lens” window. And don't get us started on the Art Deco accents and signage. This shop’s an architectural treasure, and the city of Los Angeles agrees. Since 1989, the façade has been a protected city landmark.

Why We Love It

If you couldn’t guess from the nine-foot-tall replica of a 35 millimeter Argus camera on this storefront’s façade, the structure pictured in The Dark Room was a camera shop on LA’s Miracle Mile. Designed by Marcus P. Miller in 1933, it’s an excellent example of programmatic architecture—when a building’s physical shape advertises its purpose. The black Vitrolite glass “camera” is complete with a shutter speed indicator, a winder, dual rangefinders, and of course a round “camera lens” window. And don't get us started on the Art Deco accents and signage. This shop’s an architectural treasure, and the city of Los Angeles agrees. Since 1989, the façade has been a protected city landmark.

While they appear all over the US, programmatic buildings are especially associated with Southern California. As a native Angeleno and sought-after architectural photographer, and as someone committed to preserving LA’s notable buildings, Rand surely knew what a gem he had at hand when he shot The Dark Room in 1975. His angle, distance, and composition capture not just the whole storefront, but a sense of what it might feel like to stroll by it on the sidewalk—the inviting excitement of the mimetic façade, the faint air of mystery ... More on the blog!

Details

+ Limited-edition, exclusive to 20x200
+ Museum quality: archival inks, 100% cotton rag paper unless noted
+ Signed + numbered certificate of authenticity included
+ Directly supports the artist
+ Handcrafted custom-framing is available

Our quoted dimensions are for the size of paper containing the images, not the printed image itself. We do not alter the aspect ratio, nor do we crop or resize the artists’ originals. All of our prints have a minimum border of .5 inches to allow for framing.

Medium:

Hahnemuhle Fine Art Baryta

Edition Structure:
10"x8" | edition of 10
14"x11" | edition of 200
20"x16" | edition of 50
24"x20" | edition of 10
40"x30" | edition of 5

Marvin Rand

After serving in the Air Forces as an aerial photographer during World War II, Marvin Rand enrolled at LA’s Art Center College of Design, where he would rub elbows with a group of avant-garde artists and designers, including Saul Bass and Charles and Ray Eames. A few years after graduating, Rand shot the interior of a Pacific Palisades house as a favor for an industrial designer friend, but the images caught the eye of architectural historian and author Ester McCoy. She got them published in a home magazine and kickstarted Rand's architectural photography career in the process.Over more than five decades, Rand crisscrossed LA,... Read More
camera in-hand, capturing the architectural creations of Modernist luminaries like Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Kahn, Cesar Pelli, Craig Ellwood, and Frank Gehry. He shot the first meticulous survey of Simon Rodia’s monumental Watts Towers. His extensive documentation of the work of Charles and Henry Greene, and Irving Gill resulted in seminal books. He would become an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects (a rare privilege for a photographer!) and amass an archive of tens of thousands of images that act a compendium of Modernist masterpieces.
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