Modernism Week, the annual festival that highlights midcentury modern architecture, art, interior and landscape design, and vintage culture in the Palm Springs area of Southern California, will run February 15-25. More than 350 events are being offered during the 11-days of the festival, including many free and low-cost programs. While some events are sold out, tickets are still available for many events. Tickets are available at modernismweek.com.
Highlighted Free Events Include:
Modernism Week’s CAMP (“Community And Meeting Place”) will provide a central hub for Modernism Week from February 15 – 25, 2024. CAMP will be inside the dramatic and beautifully designed Hyatt Palm Springs at 285 N. Palm Canyon Drive with free underground parking. Located in the heart of downtown Palm Springs, CAMP will include the check-in desk for all double-decker bus tours, talks and films in the theater, an information desk, the Modernism Week store by Destination PSP, morning Koffi beverages, all day food, drinks, and specialty cocktails by Cheeky’s. Free activities include daytime book signings and Professional Color Consultations by Dunn-Edwards, and two evening live music performances in the outdoor HooDoo Lounge on both Thursdays during VillageFest. Daily compelling talks will be presented at the Modernism Week Theater at CAMP. Verizon will have an interactive display space for guests to experience. In addition, there will be many engaging sponsor displays including Ferguson Bath, Kitchen and Lighting Gallery, Brizo, JennAir, and Dunn-Edwards. Entrance into CAMP is free and open to the public every day during Modernism Week. CAMP is a short walk away from the Annenberg Theater at the Palm Springs Art Museum where other presentations will be offered.
Stories Untold: Honoring Diverse Voices, Illuminating Untold Stories and Forging Connections with the Past Through Architecture and Landscape Design (2/19, Free but ticket required) Since 2022, Modernism Week has presented Stories Untold, focused on the history and narratives of architects and design professionals historically left out of the spotlight. This year, Modernism Week celebrates buildings and venues designed to illuminate untold stories, honor diverse voices, and foster meaningful connections with the past including the recently opened International African American Museum (IAAM) in Charleston, SC, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC, and Destination Crenshaw in the Crenshaw community of Los Angeles, CA. Underwriting for this presentation and complimentary admission generously provided by Room & Board.
Modernism Week Vintage Car Show (2/19, free) “Bikinis & Bucket Seats” is a tribute to the fun and sun of 1960s California youth culture. More than 50 vintage cars from the 1950s, 60s, 70s will be on display at this free event in front of the Palm Springs Convention Center. Live performances by go-go dancers and rocking tunes by DJ ModGirl will entertain the crowds.
Shine & Show Lambretta & Vespa Vintage Scooter Show (2/18, $25) Welcome all “scooterists” to the first vintage Vespa and Lambretta scooter show! Soulside Productions of LA is pleased to feature a collection of custom and classic scooters through the decades.
St. Theresa School Modernism Projects (2/20 and 2/22, free) View the St. Theresa School student’s scale models and paintings of homes and buildings designed by Albert Frey.
Modernism Yard Sale (2/25, free) This annual sale has become one of Modernism Week’s most popular FREE events. Shop vintage home décor, art, fashion, furniture and more. Brought to you by Chris Bale Homes and hosted by H3K Home+Design.
Exhibit: Stephen Willard Vintage Postcards of Palm Springs at the Welwood Murray Memorial Library (2/15 – 2/25, Free) The main room of the Welwood Murray Memorial Library in Downtown Palm Springs will showcase a fascinating collection of vintage postcards created by photographer Stephen Willard from the 1930s to the 1950s.
Gallery Opening – The John R. Hamilton Lost Archive Exposed: Hollywood Cool (2/17, free) John R. Hamilton’s photographic works are often described as sexy, intimate, and timeless. As one of the 20th century’s most prolific photographers, Hamilton was renowned for capturing images of iconic celebrities relaxing at home or behind the scenes. Attend this free reception at MAD.KAT Gallery to view this selection of Hamilton’s extensive photography portfolio.
Meet and Greet with Shag (2/18 and 2/25, free) Meet and greet Josh Agle (Shag) at the Shag Store, and have your favorite Shag items signed by the artist himself.
Shag’s February Print Exhibition Party (2/17 and 2/24, free) Join artist Shag for a print exhibition party for “Desert Bloom” at The Shag Store, featuring complimentary cocktails, live music, and other fun surprises.
Desert Art Tour (2/23 and 2/24, free) For the first time, guests may tour dozens of artist’s studios across the Palm Springs area over two days and learn how their artwork is influenced by midcentury era art and design. Meet the artists and see behind the scenes.
New this year to the Modernism Show is AfterGlow: The Palm Springs Modernism Online Showcase(2/19 – 2/25, free). Sponsored and co-produced by Palm Springs Modernism Show Silver Sponsor Bidsquare, AfterGlow will feature many of the items that were offered in-person at the show through a simple interface on the Dolphin Promotions website at palmspringsmodernism.com. AfterGlow debuts online Monday, February 19 at 4 pm when the Palm Springs Modernism Show closes and runs through March 1. Participation in the AfterGlow sale is exclusively limited to participants in the Modernism Show.
(2/22, free) California Desert Arts Council reveals the economic impact of spending by Coachella Valley nonprofit arts organizations and their audiences — and how the data can propel investment in the sector.
Rainbow Road: Design History and Color Story of The Saguaro Hotel (2/18, free Peter Stamberg and Paul Aferiat, the architects and designers who transformed The Saguaro Hotel in 2012, discuss its color story and their design inspiration for this now iconic desert property.
Highlighted Low-cost Events Include:
Palm Springs Modernism Show (2/17 – 2/19, $30) Shop and see 125 national and international exhibitors offering the BEST in midcentury and modern design. Admission includes return entry all weekend and a show catalog.
2024 Modernism Week Vintage Trailer Show(2/24 and 2/25, $25) This is one of the most celebrated and exciting events of Modernism Week’s second weekend and this year’s show promises to be bigger and better than ever. This thoughtfully curated collection of vintage trailers, campers, buses and motor homes is arguably one of the largest and most attended vintage trailer shows in the United States.
Talks and Films
There are many compelling talks and films offered during the festival. Most ticket prices are under $20. Highlighted talks include:
Keynote Presentation: Dr. Barry Bergdoll: Modernist Architecture on Exhibition (2/17, $20 and $35) With the just-completed reconstruction of Albert Frey’s 1931 Aluminaire House in Palm Springs as his inspiration, Dr. Barry Bergdoll will trace the evolution of Modernist architecture on exhibition and highlight important international exhibitions of architecture that have been the catalytic converters of the Modern Movement.
“Palm Springs Modern”: A Look Back In Time To 1999 (2/16, $18) Palm Springs Modern (Rizzoli, 1999) was the first book to explore the extraordinary midcentury modern residential architecture in Palm Springs, and it celebrates its 25th anniversary in print this year.
Paul Rudolph, Charles Moore, and Back Again: A Sarasota Architect’s Journey(2/23, $18) Explore the enduring architectural legacies of Paul Rudolph, FAIA, and Charles Moore, FAIA, from architect Jonathan Parks, AIA, sharing intimate knowledge of their work and their influence on his own.
More Than Desert Modern: William F. Cody’s Visions of Postwar Architecture and Leisure Living (2/17, $15) In the Coachella Valley, William F. Cody created new visions of modernism, desert architecture, and postwar living. In this talk the authors of Master of the Midcentury will illustrate Cody’s indelible imprint.
Albert Frey’s 1931 Aluminaire House and Its Influence on American Modernism (2/18, $18) In celebration of the Palm Springs Art Museum’s permanent installation of the 1931 Aluminaire House, architect Leo Marmol will explore the impact this structure had on American Modernism design.
The Secrets of Designing Great Desert Gardens (2/20, $15) What are the secrets of designing great desert gardens? Landscape architect Lisa Gimmy will explore the character of six great gardens and share her experiences designing and building in the desert.
Jimmy Van Heusen: Swingin’ in the Desert with Frank & Bing–Film and Panel Discussion (2/20, $18) Meet Jimmy Van Heusen, the composer more swingin’ than Sinatra. This talk is a look at the glamorous life and remarkable music of the four-time Oscar-winning songwriter who spent decades in Palm Springs.
Rational Simplicity and Rudolph de Harak: The Life and Work of a Midcentury Modernist Designer(2/21, $18) Join Richard Poulin, author of the first major publication on Rudolph de Harak, as he gives an in-depth and definitive account of this influential midcentury modernist designer’s life and work.
Meet the Architects Who Saved the 1931 Aluminaire House (2/21, $15) Michael Schwarting and Frances Campani saved the 1931 Aluminaire House from the scrap heap, cared decades for its existence, and gifted the architectural world with this icon of modernist design.
OUCH! Preservation is Difficult: Why Should We Do This? The Case for the Eliot Noyes House(2/18, $18) How does one decide whether to take on the chore of preservation? Frederick Noyes, FAIA on his family home, the Eliot Noyes House, in New Canaan, CT.
Wait Until You See: Slim Aarons x Palm Springs (2/21, $18) Slim Aarons made his most famous work, “Poolside Gossip,” at the Kaufmann House. Shawn Waldron, author of “Slim Aarons: The Essential Collection” will talk about Aaron’s work in Palm Springs and beyond.
A Tale of Two Kaufmann Wives and Two Tragic Endings (2/22, $18) Author Adele Cygelman delves into the lives of the two women who were eclipsed by their better-known husband (and even better-known house, Neutra’s Desert Kaufmann House), and who both met a tragic end.
Meeting the Standards: Hon. Sara Bronin on Protecting Modern Sites (2/23, $18) This talk is a conversation with Sara Bronin, the Presidential and Congressional appointed Chair to the U.S. Advisory Council on Historic Preservation about historic preservation policy for modern sites.
Modernism Rules the Waves: The Edgy Elegance of Midcentury Liners and Cruise Ships (2/23, $15) Join midcentury design aficionado and maritime historian Peter Knego as he takes you across the seven seas via a rarefied world of floating Midcentury Modern masterpieces.
Paradise Lost: Googie & Modernism in The Catskills (2/24, $15) The resorts of the Catskill Mountains or ‘Borscht Belt’ offered a glamorous summer haven during the 20th century. Explore this hidden midcentury modern wonderland with photographer Isaac Jeffreys.
These are just a small sampling of the more than 350 programs that will be offered during the 11-day festival. Visit modernismweek.com to view the entire schedule.