Boston Public Library

James Taulman Collection

In 1980, James F. Taulman began a photographic survey in the United States and Canada documenting modernist architecture in urban areas, with a focus on commercial buildings. Taulman made his captures using a Nikon camera and Ektachrome 35mm slide film. In 2014, the Boston Public Library acquired photographs from the series of regional interest. The majority of the images in the collection document buildings in Boston, Cambridge, and Worcester, along with other locations in the Greater Boston area.

While modernist buildings -- designed on the principal of form following function and a lack of decorative elements -- had been part of the architectural landscape in Massachusetts for decades before Taulman undertook the project, they were still controversial in a region that had long taken pride in its historic buildings designed in traditional period styles. Taulman's project documented and preserved the record of buildings that many people thought were architectural abominations. At least one of these buildings has been demolished, with others altered significantly in the intervening years.

Critical funding to support long-term preservation of and enhanced public access to Boston Public Library collections, including this one, was provided by the Associates of the Boston Public Library.

Locations in this Collection: