James Schnepf Puts a Face on Midcentury Architecture in "Palm Springs Project"

Photographer captures the people who live in or design the iconic architecture

JIM POWERS Arts & Entertainment 0 Comments


VIDEO: Author of the Palm Springs Project, photographer James Schnepf talks about creating an image over 18 months.



Like many visitors to the Greater Palm Springs area who are first acquainted with its midcentury architecture, the buildings leave an immeasurable impact.

But photographer James Schnepf was left wanting more than just the view of pristine lines and minimalistic projection.

"I wondered who lived in the houses, who built the houses," says Schnepf, who hails from Wisconsin. "I wanted to bring a people perspective to this since I am a long-time people photographer."

Modernism Week visitors can view a snipet of Schnepf's Palm Springs Project at the Archangel Gallery on North Palm Canyon through Feb. 22. The book version has more than 100 images, and Schnepf had to cull it down to 25 for the gallery exhibit.

Among the photos in the gallery are environmental shots of three midcentury architects still living in the area: Donald Wexler, Hugh Kaptur, and William Krisel. The latter designed the house Schnepf bought in 2010 that began this four-year odyssey culminating in his book.

"When I started doing this, you pick up books by Julius Shulman where you get to see the iconic architecture. I absorbed those," says Schnepf. "The people really educated me. The 87 people I ended up photographing played a part in that education process."

Like  the contact he made at Marrakesh Country Club, who told him of a weekly women's putting contest

"The ladies have their pink outfits on with their little aprons, their putters and scorecards," Schnepf says. "When I laid eyes on it, I thought, this is amazing. I found a perch on the clubhouse to make that symmetrical composition."

"Palm Springs Project," archangel gallery, 1103 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-320-4795; www.palmspringsproject.com


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