modernism week april 2021

Modifying Modernism

With safety in mind, Modernism Week organizers have reimagined the April 8–18 event. Here’s how this year’s celebration of midcentury architecture and design will be different.

Jeremy Kinser Current Guide, Modernism

modernism week april 2021


Safety first.

For in-person events, Modernism Week enforces mask wearing and social distancing, and provides hand sanitizer dispensers at entry and exit points. “Our goal this year,” explains Modernism Week executive director Lisa Vossler Smith, “was to produce the best high-quality experience that can be produced safely.”

The outdoors are great.

The programming focuses on open-air and self-guided experiences. “We’ve always had walking and biking tours and outdoor experiences,” Vossler Smith says, “and this year, those are our most appealing options.” Besides small group walking tours in Palm Springs and Indian Wells, Modernism Week offers a self-guided High Desert driving tour for the first time.


Modern Garden Tour

Ain’t no party.

Modernism Week is renowned for its glamorous poolside soirées and elaborate opening-night parties, such as last year’s Space Modyssey-themed extravaganza featuring a David Bowie tribute performer and attendees decked out in retro-futuristic attire. Out of concern for attendees’ safety, no such gatherings were planned this time.

There will still be rides.

Traditionally, the classic car club Great Autos of Yesteryear organizes a vintage car show at the Palm Springs Convention Center. Instead, the Palm Springs Modern Committee, aka PS ModCom, has collaborated with private collectors to exhibit their vintage automobiles, so fin-and-tail aficionados can still get their fix during Modernism Week.


Seventies Sackley

just stream it.

After debuting Modernism Week Online Experiences in February and last October, the group will once again offer scads of new streaming programming, including documentaries about celebrated architect Ray Kappe and iconic Poolside Gossip photographer Slim Aarons, as well as a third entry in a video series hosted by campy midcentury guru Charles Phoenix.

Are tickets available? While many Modernism Week events have sold out, other offerings may still be available. For the latest information, visit