Modernism with a Twist

Presentations comically underscore Palm Springs and Modernism’s sketchy history

(From left) Modernism with a Twist presenters Debra Hovel, Kurt Cyr, Annalisa Capurro, Jay Saltzman and Richard Hovel.

Photos by Lydia Kremer


Richard Hovel reminds everyone that people hated the Eiffel Tower.

Even Frank Lloyd Wright had his detractors at the time and were given to calling him Frank Lloyd Wrong.

Hovel offered these examples of underappreciated architecture during the Modernism with a Twist Lecture Series by Makerville Presents, which runs 5-6:30 each night at Modernism Week CAMP in Palm Springs.

Founded by six creative thinkers, Makerville Presents will offer several evenings of lectures featuring varying topics by Makerville founders and a roster of guest lecturers.

Be sure to take your sense of humor along, these presentations are irreverent, witty, and at times laugh-out-loud comical – hence Modernism with a Twist.


• See related story on Makerville: Crafting a Community


The first evening of lectures last Friday night (Feb. 12) at CAMP were humorous, entertaining, and even educational. The presenters on the first night of the series on Friday evening were Makerville founders Debra Hovel, Kurt Cyr, Jay Saltzman, Richard Hovel and guest lecturer Annalisa Capurro from Sydney, Australia.

The lecture topics covered such intriguing titles as Modernism Revered vs Reviled, Deadly Modernism, Women of Palm Springs, Naked History, and Richard Hovel’s comically schizophrenic lecture: I Love You, I Hate You, I Love You.

In his Revered and Reviled lecture, Cyr asks, Why do we celebrate the midcentury modern architecture but hate the food? Think Velveeta Cheese and Jello.

Debra Hovel explored the history of Palm Springs’ Nature (read: nudists) Boys who lived in Tahquitz Canyon from 1925-35.

Capurro illustrated how some modernist architecture was actually treacherous. Saltzman provided an enlightening overview of the strong women who founded early Palm Springs. She pointed to Mies van der Rohe’s “less is more” philosophy that inspired dangerous cantilevers and precarious staircases with no railings.

And, of course, the evening fun included cocktails.

Modernism with a Twist, 5-6:30 p.m., Feb. 15-20, Modernism Week CAMP, 333 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs,


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Also Read:

• Modernism Week's International Appeal Continues to Rise

• Hollywood Glitz Opens Modernism Week

• More Expansion Ahead for Modernism Show & Sale

• Ol' Blue Eyes Still Packs Them in

• CAMP Modernism

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