Modernism Week 2019 Steps Forward

The annual 11-day festival will feature a wide array of events including featured speaker Moshe Safdie and four featured homes.

Site Staff Current Digital, Modernism

Modernism Week headquarters, CAMP, will once again be located across the street from the Palm Springs Art Museum.

The Modernism Week 2019 festival will take place Feb. 14-24, highlighting midcentury modern architecture, art, interior and landscape design, and vintage culture in the Palm Springs area of Southern California.

For the 14th year, the annual 11-day festival will feature a wide array of events including the Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale, tours of iconic homes in more than 27 neighborhoods (including the Signature Home Tour on both weekends), architectural walking, biking and double-decker bus tours, tours of the historic Annenberg Estate at Sunnylands, classic cars, garden tours, a vintage travel trailer exhibition, nightly parties and a special series of talks. Tickets for the event are available starting Nov. 1 at and some events sell out quickly!

Here are some events not to miss:

Keynote speech by starchitect Moshe Safdie,  CC, FAIA, Saturday, Feb. 16

The 2019 keynote presentation will feature a talk by Moshe Safdie, international-acclaimed architect and urban planner,  Feb. 16 at the Annenberg Theater from 1-3:30 p.m.  Safdie is known for a range of significant and compelling architectural projects, including  the 1967 Habitat ’67 at the World Exhibition Expo ’67 in Montreal, Canada, the Skirball Cultural Center, in Los Angeles, California, the Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort in Singapore (recently showcased in the film, Crazy Rich Asians), the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, and under-construction Changi airport in Singapore.

His presentation will include  an overview of Mr. Safdie’s work over his 50+ year career and a presentation encompassing Montreal ’67 Habitat, influences across the years in his career, and new iterations of Habitat constructed or planned.


Moshe Safdie

Tour Four Modernism Week Featured Homes (throughout the run of the 11-day festival)

Each year Modernism Week offers exclusive tours of Featured Homes.  This year, attendees will be able tour four featured homes:

“La Vie en Rose” by Christopher Kennedy: Interior designer Christopher Kennedy’s spectacular renovation of a quintessential midcentury property. This 1958 home is in posh Vista Las Palmas and backs up to the San Jacinto mountains. $30


“Green Gables” by H3K Design in Palm Springs.

“Green Gables” by H3K: Designed by Palmer-Krisel & built in 1958, this 3 bedroom 2 bathroom home is undergoing a full renovation by H3K Design. The High Gable roofline is a quintessential example of midcentury modern design. $30

“Axiom Desert House” by Turkel Design: This 2,110-square-foot modern prefab will become home to the Turkel family. Designing their future family home was a way for Joel and Meelena Turkel, founders of Turkel Design, to dive deeply into the design, building, and delivery process. $30

“Desert Eichler” by Kud Properties: This newly-built residence is replicate original Eichler homes, but modernized for today’s standard of living. $30

Tour the Modernism Web Showhouse: The Christopher Kennedy Compound

The Christopher Kennedy Compound (in partnership with Traditional Home magazine) is a complete refurbishment of a classic midcentury home that will feature the work of nearly 10 leading interior designers  (tours offered daily).


Walker Guest House Replica Tour and Paul Rudolf Symposium/Cocktail Reception

Modernism Week participants will be able to tour a stunning full-scale, furnished replica of architect Paul Rudolph’s iconic 1952 Walker Guest House in downtown Palm Springs across the street from CAMP.

The house was relocated and re-constructed by the Palm Springs Modern Committee and is on loan from the Sarasota Architectural Foundation in Florida. This replica of a 1952 beach cottage is a shining example of the Sarasota School of Architecture movement (1941-1966). The guest house was originally designed by Rudolph for Dr. Walker and specifically for the subtropical climate of Sanibel Island, Florida. It is still used today by the family.

Rudolph said: “With all the panels lowered the house is a snug cottage, but when the panels are raised it becomes a large screened pavilion. If you desire to retire from the world you have a cave, but when you feel good there is the joy of a large screened pavilion.”

The house, complete with original 1952 furnishings, offers a unique opportunity to enjoy a tour of this amazing beach house. Guests are also invited to join a symposium on the life and work of Rudolph, one of America’s leading midcentury architect.


The Walker Guest House Replica.

The symposium is a journey of Paul Rudolph’s life through the eyes of a stellar group of panelists who experienced a close connection to the architect. Deborah Berke, Dean, Yale School of Architecture, will serve as moderator. Carl Abbott, FAIA will precede a lively discussion by the panel sharing personal stories as one of the carefully chosen 15 students in Rudolph’s coveted class at Yale.

Joe King, a Sarasota practicing architect, is co-author of Paul Rudolph: The Florida Houses and will share Rudolph’s early work. King was the mastermind of the replica of Rudolph’s Walker Guest House, which attendees will tour as part of the Symposium. Tim Rohan, author of The Architecture of Paul Rudolph and associate professor at the University of Mass will address Rudolph’s later work. Sidney Williams, former Curator of Architecture and Design for the Palm Springs Art Museum, will address the connections and contrasts between Sarasota and Palm Springs including the significance of the Walker Guest house.  Following the symposium, guests will be able to purchase tickets to an exclusive cocktail reception at the rarely-open-to-the-public Siva/Russell residence, a 1959 mountainside residence designed by modernist Hugh Kaptur. The unique property boasts a 180-degree view from the glass-windowed walls and creating a jaw-dropping tableau.

Modernism Week Opening Night Party: Modern Love

Join Modernism Week for a festive Opening Night Party with cocktails and dancing at the 1962 Wexler and Harrison designed Indian Canyons Country Clubhouse. Get down tonight and channel your inner mojo like Austin Powers or Foxy Cleopatra as Modernism Week kicks off with an Opening Night Party like no other. We’ll transport you to a groovy, Modern Love lair where psychedelic prints are flowing and white patent boots are made for walking, all wrapped up in a Shag-A-Licious sexy Palm Springs vibe. Guests will party the night away to the retro sounds of DJ Baz and our headlining band, the exciting 12-piece orchestra Casino Royale performing the go-go dance hits of the swingin’ Sixties and classics by Burt Bacharach, Tom Jones, Herb Albert, Dusty Springfield, and many more. Mondo cocktails will be flowing and over-the-top hors d’oeuvres will be served to your heart’s content by Lulu. Experience vintage Palm Springs as we celebrate the 1962 Donald Wexler and Richard Harrison-designed Indian Canyons Country Club clubhouse. Bring your clique or your favorite Fembot and join us for a fun night of festive frivolity! This special evening is produced by Modernism Week, Momentous Events, and presented by Ferguson.

The Forgotten Frey: The Cree House

Other than his own home, this is Albert Frey’s most intact residential work. It was commissioned by a prominent desert family at a time when little if anything had been built nearby. Since the early 1970s, it has been owned by a single family and thus, has quietly existed on its hilltop perch overlooking the desert floor, largely forgotten and never before seen by the public. Throughout the past year, the owner has meticulously preserved and restored the house to nearly its original 1955 condition. The Cree house is abundantly clad in identifying characteristics found in other Frey projects: strong, jutting balconies with corrugated fiberglass railings, asbestos exterior walls, industrial materials and thin roof overhangs. A fascinating study in siting, the building is elevated primarily on pilotis, leaving the mountain beneath virtually untouched. Wildly contrasting its environment in materials and forms, it also seems to blend into it. Its colors and shapes evoke the surrounding granite hills and desert foliage as much as contrast them.

The Princes of Kings Road

This fascinating play by Tom Lazarus dramatizes a real late-life hospital-room encounter between Neutra and his fellow architectural titan Rudolph Schindler. Its soundtrack is a recording of Neutra’s wife, Dione, playing the cello. the play’s gentle, ironic humor and conveys the different personalities – Schindler is stiff, pompous, conceited, bitter, and an unapologetic womanizer with a soft heart. Neutra is rosy, conciliatory and playful.  It leads the audience to understand architectural language of modern design.


Modernism Week’s CAMP (“Community And Meeting Place”) will provide a central hub for Modernism Week from Feb. 15-24, 2018. Once again located at 230 Museum Way (directly across from the Palm Springs Art Museum in the future Downtown Palm Springs public park space), CAMP will include an information desk, a box office, a café by Cheeky’s, the Modernism Week merchandise store by Destination PSP, a JennAir demonstration kitchen, designer lounges and a theater. Entrance into CAMP is free and open to the public and will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.



Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale will feature 85 exhibitors.

Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale

One of Modernism Week’s most highly anticipated events, the 18th annual Show & Sale at the Palm Springs Convention Center (Feb. 15-18) will feature 85 premier national and international dealers offering furniture, decorative and fine arts representing design movements of the 20th century. Produced by Dolphin Promotions, whose shows are among the leading venues for antiques and collectibles in North America, the Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale will open with an Early Buying Preview Party on Feb. 15 to benefit Modernism Week.

The popular Modern Design Expo (that adjoins the Show & Sale) will showcase cutting-edge modern design and technology to be introduced during the first weekend of Modernism Week. Created by the same team that has produced the Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale for the past 18 years, the Palm Springs Modern Design Expo will feature 40 exhibitors presenting the newest and hippest elements for modern living including dynamic and energy efficient building materials, cutting-edge home appliances and electronics, smart home technology and security, hand-crafted furniture and design accessories, contemporary art and photography, and much more.

Premier Double Decker Architectural Bus Tours

The popular tours feature new additions to the tour with updated commentary, and provide participants with a 2.5 hour overview of significant civic and commercial buildings, as well as residential properties located within notable Palm Springs neighborhoods, including the midcentury “leisure lifestyle” communities in South Palm Springs.


Illuminated Modern returns this year with an updated route and new additions to the schedule.

Led by knowledgeable guides, this open-air experience offers unique, exterior perspectives of Palm Springs. Illuminated Modern, and its sunset architectural bus tour, also returns this year with an updated route and new additions to the schedule. This unique tour showcases important midcentury modern buildings in Palm Springs, which are illuminated with colorful lighting. Projected on many buildings are the architect’s name and year of completion.

Other significant events include:

First-time parties at the Lawrence Welk estate, Villa Paradiso

Tours of Elrod Escape (Elrod’s home in Old Las Palmas that features original Elrod interior designs and furniture)

Modernism Week and the American Documentary Film Festival (AmDocs) will again present the Architecture and Design Film Series to be held over three days from February 22-24 on the big screen at the Camelot Theater. It will feature more than 25 films, documentaries and short films.