Year since 2009, Palm Springs Modernism Week
has been a siren call to fans of groundbreaking, site-specific art and lovers of midcentury modern design. This year, the 11-day event kicks off February 13 and will showcase more than 350 events, including Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale, tours of iconic homes in more than 30 neighborhoods, and the popular Signature Home Tour.
We asked local agents from The Agency Palm Springs
to tell us what they love about this annual event, their must-sees this year and to share some expert advice.
The Agency Palm Desert
Modernism Week is a feast for the eyes, an educational experience and an incredible coming together of our local community. There’s always an incredible buzz in the air during Modernism Week—it's palpable. There are several reasons why I moved to the desert, and one of them is the area’s incredible architecture and design, which is a big part of our desert experience. Since Modernism Week encompasses so many amazing events and tours, I would say that the general excitement of the entire week is what I enjoy most.
What Are You Most Looking Forward to Seeing This Year?
I always look forward to the Modernism Show & Sale and seeing all the great design represented. This year, I’m very excited about getting to docent the “Tale of Two Cody’s” tour put on by Preservation Mirage. I love William Cody’s work—we recently moved from one Cody designed house to another. I also think the work that Preservation Mirage is doing to continue the legacy of great architects and their work is super important.
Why Should Someone Go to Modernism Week?
Everyone’s reasons for going are different and people get different things out of Modernism Week. But, I think one of the most important things that comes out of it is that people who aren’t aware of architectural preservation's impact on our community understand the important work that the different preservation groups are doing. The more people that know about and understand the role that architecture and design play in our community, the better the chances are for more people getting involved in preservation on some level.
Director of Architectural Properties Desert Communities
The Agency Palm Springs
Modernism Week is a wonderful way to see the best design and architecture of the desert and have a great time learning about the unique architectural legacy while enjoying amazing food and great shopping.
What Are You Most Looking Forward to Seeing at This Year's Modernism Week?
I’m most looking forward to seeing The Signature Home Tour and the tour at Marrakesh in Palm Desert—which is rarely open—the tour at Thunderbird Country Club and the tours in Rancho Mirage where I live, like Cody Court and Pwelson x Two: Maranz & Marx tour.
The Agency Palm Springs
What I enjoy most about Modernism week is the opportunity it brings for people to visit and explore the amazing architecture Palm Springs is famous for. One is able to submerge oneself in the golden years of what has made Palm Springs a premier destination not only for the ‘snowbirds’ but for the modern enthusiast. It has caught the attention of home buyers and helped inspire them to purchase—and bring back to life—properties by famous architects such as Cody, Wexler, George and Robert Alexander, and some of my favorites are Albert Frey, Stewart Williams and John Lautner. I encourage my friends and clients to come every year. Once someone comes to experience the energy, fun and excitement, they are usually up for looking at potential properties to buy. It proves Palm Springs is no longer the ‘retirement town’ but the town to call home.
Do You Have a Favorite Modernism Week Event?
I always love to go to the opening Gala. The fashion is always outstanding and fun. You only see this in the desert! I also enjoy walking the convention center and shopping all of the amazing midcentury furniture and accessories. I usually do many walking tours. I enjoy seeing the door tour and other iconic properties that may be on tour that I haven't experienced. It’s always a must to stop by Shag The Store to see Shag’s latest painting.
What Are Your Must-See Events This Year?
This year, there will be a Steve Chase Legacy Art and Interior Design Tour and Reception celebrating the life of Mr. Chase that looks amazing. Make sure you get on the double-decker open tour bus for an in-depth look at architectural treasures and absorb the sun! Sunnylands Historic House tour is always a great education and beautiful to see and hear the history of the Annenbergs.
What’s One of Your All-time Favorite Palm Springs Moments?
I had the pleasure in my past career to have been the hairstylist to Barbara Sinatra and visited her and Frank's compound in Tamarisk Country Club where they brought in Designer Bea Korshak and architect Ted Grenzbach to renovate the interior. It was fun to listen to Barbara tell me stories about their friends and yes, I did get to meet Frank.