Highlights include architectural tours, talks, and parties in significant homes and buildings rarely open to the public
By Bob Bogard
Modernism Week’s signature February festival will take place February 14-24, 2019, highlighting midcentury modern architecture, art, interior and landscape design, and vintage culture in the Palm Springs area of Southern California. For the fourteenth year, the annual 11-day festival will feature a wide array of events including the Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale, tours of iconic homes in more than 30 neighborhoods, and the popular Signature Home Tour on both weekends. Also offered are architectural walking, biking and double-decker bus tours, tours of the historic Annenberg Estate at Sunnylands, a classic car show, garden tours, nightly parties, and a special series of compelling and informative talks. All events are open to the public and tickets go on sale November 1, 2019 at 12 p.m. PST at modernismweek.com. Attendees will be able to preview the events on the website without making purchases starting October 25. A portion of ticket proceeds benefit Modernism Week (a non-profit organization) and other local preservation, neighborhood and community groups. As additional events are finalized they will be added for sale on the website on the first of each month. Some events sell out quickly.
New events for 2019 include:
Keynote speech by architect Moshe Safdie, CC, FAIA, Saturday, February 16
The 2018 keynote presentation will feature a talk by Moshe Safdie, internationally-acclaimed architect and urban planner, on Saturday, February 16 at the Annenberg Theater at 1 p.m.. Mr. Safdie is known for a range of significant and compelling architectural projects, including the Habitat ’67 at the World Exhibition Expo 1967 in Montreal, Canada, the Skirball Cultural Center, in Los Angeles, the Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort in Singapore (recently showcased in the film ”Crazy Rich Asians”), the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, and the under-construction Changi airport in Singapore. His presentation will include an overview of his work over his 50+ year career, starting with the Montreal ’67 Habitat, his career influences over the years, and new iterations of Habitat constructed or planned.
Tour Four Modernism Week Featured Homes (throughout the run of the 11 day festival)
Each year Modernism Week offers exclusive tours of Featured Homes. This year, attendees will be able tour four Featured Homes located in Palm Springs (tours occur on different days throughout the 11 days):
“Green Gables” by H3K: Designed by Palmer & Krisel and built in 1958, this 3 bedroom 2 bathroom home is undergoing a full renovation by H3K Design. The High Gable roofline is a classic example of midcentury modern design.
“La Vie en Rose” by Christopher Kennedy: Interior designer Christopher Kennedy’s spectacular renovation of a quintessential midcentury property. This 1958 home is in posh Vista Las Palmas and backs up to the San Jacinto mountains.
“Axiom Desert House” by Turkel Design: This 2,110-square-foot modern prefab will become home to the Turkel family. Designing their future family home was a way for the founders of Turkel Design to dive deeply into the design, building, and delivery process for prefab homes.
“Desert Eichler” by KUD Properties: This newly-built residence is a replica of the original homes designed by Joseph Eichler, but modernized for today’s standard of living.
Modernism Week Opening Night Party: Modern Love
Modernism Week will host a festive Opening Night Party with cocktails and dancing at the 1962 Wexler and Harrison-designed Indian Canyons Golf Resort Clubhouse. The party takes place on Valentine’s Day and guests will enjoy a groovy, 1960’s psychedelic-themed party with the exciting 12-piece orchestra Casino Royale. This special evening is presented by Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery.
Tour the Modernism Week Show House: The Christopher Kennedy Compound
The Christopher Kennedy Compound (in partnership with Traditional Home magazine) is a complete refurbishment of a classic midcentury home in the Indian Canyons neighborhood of Palm Springs that will feature the work of 12 leading interior designers with tours offered daily.
Photography Exhibition: The Landscape Architecture Legacy of Dan Kiley
In partnership with UCR Riverside Palm Desert, Modernism Week continues its exploration of landscape architecture and design with the west coast premiere of a photography exhibition highlighting the career of Dan Kiley (1912-2004), one of the nation’s most important post-war landscape architects. During his prolific career, which spanned more than half a century, he worked with equally significant architects including Eero Saarinen, Louis Kahn, and I.M. Pei to create internationally acknowledged Modernist design icons. The exhibition opening on Tuesday, February 19 will be accompanied by a talk and special reception at UCR Palm Desert.
Walker Guest House Replica Tour and Paul Rudolf Symposium/Cocktail Reception
Modernism Week participants will be able to tour the 1952 Walker Guest House Replica, a stunning full-scale, furnished replica designed by architect Paul Rudolph, one of America’s leading midcentury architects. It will be situated in downtown Palm Springs across the street from CAMP. Modernism Week attendees are also invited to a symposium on the life and work of Rudolph. Following the symposium, a limited number of guests may attend an exclusive cocktail reception at the rarely-open-to-the-public Siva/Russell residence, a 1959 mountainside residence designed by modernist Hugh Kaptur.
The Princes of Kings Road
Modernism Week attendees will have the opportunity to attend a fascinating play by Tom Lazarus that dramatizes a real late-life hospital-room encounter between Richard Neutra and his fellow architectural titan Rudolph Schindler. The play’s gentle, ironic humor conveys the different personalities – Schindler is a stiff, pompous, conceited, bitter, unapologetic womanizer with a soft heart. Neutra is rosy, conciliatory and playful. Their banter leads the audience to a new understanding of the architectural language of modern design.
The Forgotten Frey: The Cree House
One of Albert Frey’s most intact residential works has been meticulously preserved and restored to nearly its original 1955 condition. Never before seen by the public, it has been owned by a single family and has been largely forgotten, as it quietly existed in Cathedral City on its hilltop perch overlooking the desert floor. Tours will be offered daily.
A Celebration for Arthur Elrod, Legendary Interior Designer
On Friday, February 15 Modernism Week will host a special dedication ceremony on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars for acclaimed interior designer Arthur Elrod (1924-1974). Elrod’s work remains relevant today and his style instilled a lasting impression on Palm Springs. His former home known as the “Elrod Escape” will also be open for a home tour and evening cocktail party on Thursday, February 21 with special guest, Palm Springs resident and local icon, Nelda Linsk, an early client and life-long friend of Elrod’s.
Other new events for 2019 include:
- Midcentury Wine: California and France’s Rivalry Wine Tasting
- Everything You Don’t Know about Modern California Architecture, presented by Alan Hess
- “Walt Disney’s Disneyland” presentation and book signing by Chris Nichols
- House Tour: Indian Canyons 1970’s Mod Custom Home by Architect Hal Lacy
- The Glamour of Late Moderne: The Herbert Burns Tour
- Powelson x Two: Maranz & Marx Tour
- A new Charles Phoenix presentation called “ALOHALAND”
- First-time parties at the Lawrence Welk estate and Villa Paradiso
Other signature events not to be missed include:
Home and Neighborhood Tours
Once again, Modernism Week attendees will be able to tour a wide array of midcentury modern homes, communities, and neighborhoods in Palm Springs. In addition, Modernism Week will continue to offer home tours and architectural excursions in surrounding desert cities including Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage and Indian Wells.
Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale
One of Modernism Week’s most highly anticipated events, the 18th annual Show & Sale at the Palm Springs Convention Center (February 15-18) will feature 85 premier national and international dealers offering furniture, decorative and fine arts representing design movements of the 20th century. The popular Modern Design Expo (that adjoins the Show & Sale) will showcase cutting-edge modern design and technology to be introduced during the first weekend of Modernism Week. The Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale will open with an early buying Preview Party on February 15 to benefit Modernism Week.
Modernism Week and the American Documentary Film Festival (AmDocs) will again present the acclaimed Architecture and Design Film Series to be held over three days from February 22-24 on the big screen at the Camelot Theater. It will feature more than 25 films, documentaries and short films. Additional film screenings will take place throughout Modernism Week.
This year, Modernism Week offers an exciting array of live entertainment options including a Cabaret Evening with AJ Lambert (granddaughter of Frank Sinatra), the return of last year’s popular “Hollywood Revisited,” Nod to Mod, a nightly dinner event by PS Underground, and several performances by the Aqualillies, a group of synchronized swimming professionals who will perform for five days at a local residence.
Modernism Week’s CAMP (“Community And Meeting Place”) will provide a central hub for Modernism Week from February 15-24, 2019. Once again located at 230 Museum Way (directly across from the Palm Springs Art Museum in the future Downtown Palm Springs public park space), CAMP will include an information desk, a box office, a café by Cheeky’s, the Modernism Week merchandise store by Destination PSP, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery immersive experience in partnership with JennAir and Brizo, designer lounges and a theater. The Dreamboats, a popular singing group, will offer free daily performances at CAMP. Entrance into CAMP is free and open to the public and will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Modernism Week aficionados will be pleased to see that the core favorite events will return this year, and many will feature new enhancements. These include the Premier Double Decker Architectural Bus Tours, Illuminated Modern, a sunset architectural bus tour, the Modernism Week Signature Home Tour, Sunnylands tours, tours of Frey House II, tours of iconic homes in the Coachella Valley, including the residence formerly owned by Frank Sinatra, and compelling architectural walking tours specially curated for Modernism Week.
Modernism Week’s signature 11-day festival will take place February 14-24, 2019. Tickets will be available November 1 at 12 p.m. PST. To receive updates, visit modernismweek.com and sign up for Modernism Weekly, or follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The Hilton Palm Springs Resort, Modernism Week’s official host hotel, is offering a special room rate for a limited time only. Contact them directly at 760-320-6868.