Midcentury Modern design is synonymous with Palm Springs. Famous architects Hugh Kaptur, John Lautner and Albert Frey have their homes preserved along with 1960s-era gas stations, motor lodges, and post offices which have been transformed into trendy resorts and restaurants.
Modernism‘s enormous popularity is enduring thanks to its simplicity, and it’s celebrated in a big way at Palm Springs’ Modernism Week, an annual festival of 20th-century design held this year from Feb. 17 through Feb. 27, bringing with it more than 350 events including house tours, panel discussions, bike and walking tours and parties.
Many events, such as tours of Sunnylands and Frank Sinatra’s Twin Palms estate, sell out quickly, but there are still plenty of events left to choose from.
We have 13 events left that are still available as of the deadline. To see a complete list of events and to order tickets, visit modernismweek.com.
1. ‘Vera: The Art and Life of an Icon,’ with Susan Seid and Trina Turk
Seid, author of the book “Vera: The Art and Life of an Icon,” and fashion designer Turk will discuss artist Vera Neumann, one of the most successful female design entrepreneurs of the 20th century. 10 a.m. Feb. 24. $20. Live streaming will be available for $10.
2. Lautner compound tour
Lautner’s 1947 residential fourplex, formerly known as the Hotel Lautner and now a collection of boutique rentals used for weddings and other events, opens its doors to the public once a year for Modernism Week. Desert Hot Springs offers a tour that includes an open-air space for events and a 1957 California Bungalow. 10 a.m.-2:45 pm February 18-20. $50.
3. Silver Lake Home Tour by Richard Neutra
Noam Saragosti will be leading a tour of Neutra’s 1932 glass box that overlooks Silver Lake Reservoir during a special Los Angeles event. 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. on February 20, 27. $50.
4. Shag the Party
Rare opportunity to meet Josh Agle (Southern California artist and designer, also known as Shag), whose candy-colored works immortalize Midcentury hipsters, Tiki kitsch, and other Southern California artists. Agle will sign books as well as the Modernism Week 2022 commemorative poster posters that he designed. 3.45 – 4.45 p.m. February 20. $18. Agle will host a party with live music and cocktails at the Shag Store (745 N. Palm Canyon Drive), Palm Springs.
5. Vintage trailer show
Take a look inside unique vintage trailers, motor homes, busses, and campers. Meet the owners to learn more about the restoration process. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on February 26th and 27. $25.
6. Double-decker architectural bus tour
Take in the city’s most famous architectural landmarks from the top of a double-decker bus as the guided tour drives past William Krisel’s House of Tomorrow, Neutra’s Kaufmann Desert House, pictured above, E. Stewart Williams’ legendary “Twin Palms” estate and the Tramway Gas Station, now the Palm Springs Visitors Center. Various dates. $110.
7. The Geometry of Home – The family story of The Stahl House
Join Shari Stahl Gronwald, Bruce Stahl and Kim Cross, authors of “The Stahl House: The Making of a Modernist Icon,” for an intimate talk about the little-known family story of Case Study House No. 22 (like the fact that they used jump into the pool at one of the most iconic rooftops in Los Angeles). The Stahl siblings will discuss the story of the house, share never-before-published photos and preview a documentary coming out later this year. Noon, Feb. 19. $50 includes a book copy.
8. Maison Bleue Moderne home tour
Visit this historic William Krisel home located in Vista las Palmas. Interior designer Michelle Boudreau has brought it back to life. Noon to 4:00 p.m. February 18, 20, and 27, and February 25, 26, 25 and 27, respectively. $35.
9. 1970s Sackley home tour
Visitors can expect architect Stan Sackley’s signature see-through fireplace and walls of glass and a warm palette of greens and blues from interior designers Michael Ostrow and Roger Stoker of Grace Home Furnishings, who renovated the 1975 Palm Springs home. 9 a.m.-1 p.m., February 18-20. $35.
10. Sculptura Botanica
Dustin Gimbel, a Long Beach artist and landscape designer, will give a visual tour to Sculptura Botanica 2020, his solo show at Sherman Library and Gardens. He will also provide tips on how to incorporate sculptural objects into your home garden. 9 a.m. Feb. 24. $12.
11. Modern Design Expo & Palm Springs Modernism Show
The 21st show will feature more than 90 vendors selling vintage furniture, lighting and jewelry as well as ceramics. This event will take place concurrently to the fourth Palm Springs Modern Design Expo, which is held at the Palm Springs Convention Center. You can get admission to both shows with one ticket. 10 a.m.- 6 p.m., February 19, 10, a.m.- 5 p.m. Februar 20, 10, a.m.- 4 p.m. Februar 21, 10. $30. You must verify your fully vaccinated status and/or pre-entry negative COVID testing results. $25-30
12. Limón home tour
Originally built as an apartment house in 1964, the all-steel structure is now a colorful seven-bedroom boutique hotel in southern Palm Springs, Limón. The design was redesigned by H3K Homes+Design and is inspired by the graphics from the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. February 18-21 and 24-25. $35.
13. Silvertop: A Vision for the Future
Los Angeles architect Barbara Bestor, who spent three years renovating Lautner’s concrete domed Silvertop overlooking the Silver Lake Reservoir, will debut a short film, narrated by “a surprise guest host,” on the history and revitalization of Silvertop. Bestor will answer audience questions and present a slide show about the renovation after the film. 11 a.m. Feb. 18. $15.