One Era, 11 Days

Your guide to celebrate 
everything that is so last midcentury

Marissa Willman Attractions 0 Comments


With one of the largest concentrations of midcentury modern architecture in the world, Modernism Week (Feb. 11–21) is a misnomer: It needs 11 days to accommodate all of the tours, screenings, discussions, and parties that make this one of the signature events of the season in Greater Palm Springs. This year brings exciting new programs, as well as plenty of free and low-cost events, that make this a long week you won’t want to miss.

• See related stories: •  A Modernism Sampler    •   Mod and Free

Camp Out at CAMP

Whether you’re looking for the perfect place to kick off Modernism Week or the best bets for low-cost or free events, pitch your tent at Modernism Week’s CAMP (Community and Meeting Place) headquarters at 333 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs (the former site of The Alley). Mixology happy hours, cooking and gardening demonstrations, meet-and-greets, and panel discussions are only a few of CAMP’s activities.

photo courtesy of palm springs life archives

Shari Belafonte will host The Cuban Dinner Party during Modernism Week.

Journey to Modern Cuba

Explore Cuban culture during an intimate dinner hosted by Shari Belafonte, daughter of Harry Belafonte, Feb. 16. The Cuban Dinner Party with Shari Belafonte introduces the country’s exquisite cuisine, accompanied by Cuban rhythms and Belafonte’s personal experiences in Castro-era Cuba, all set in a midcentury modern residence ( $250). Prepare for the occasion by attending the lectures Ticket to Havana – Cuba Modern Lecture Series; Cuba’s Modern Movement Architecture: Before and After the Revolution; and Tropicana Modern: A Cultural Journey Through Havana’s 1950s Nightclubs, among others, all happening Feb. 13 ($25).

Vist Banning's Museum of Pinball during Modernism Week.

Play Ball

Spend an evening in a 1950s compound putting your pinball skills to the test at Banning’s Museum of Pinball, which opens its doors for this exclusive event on Feb. 15. Retro Pinball Mania! offers free play on more than 700 pristine pinball machines, Mad Men-era cocktails, craft sodas, and retro carnival fare, as well as transportation to and from the museum on a luxury motor coach ($125).

photo by gary bindman

A model wearing a Candace Held dress walks the runway at Fashion Week El Paseo 2015. Held is also one of the designers participating in the Fashion and Architecture lecture at this year's Modernism Week.

Dress the Part

Modernism meets fashion throughout the week as Palm Springs Life Fashion Editor Susan Stein explores the intimate connection between the two through a series of events at CAMP.  Attend the Fashion and Architecture – Inside, Outside, and Side by Side lecture on Feb. 17 ($25), and find your best look during the Your Signature Modernism Style event on Feb. 19 ($25). Don’t miss the intimate Off the Runway with Lisa Perry, when the designer shares her brand’s evolution through a series of vignettes presenting inspirational vintage pieces and notable artists on Feb. 20 ($25).

photo courtesy of lionsgate

The TV series Mad Men will be discussed during Modernism Week from set design to fashion.

Unleash Your Inner Don Draper

Rub elbows with the creative team behind the quintessential midcentury modern TV show: Mad Men. On Feb. 18, the set design team, costume designer Janie Bryant, and creator Matthew Weiner talk about the making of the show in a series of lectures moderated by Trina Turk and NPR journalist and KCRW host Madeleine Brand. Top off the night at the Mad Men Affair at the Abernathy House, a stylish party fit for Betty and Joan ( $125).

photo courtesy of palm springs life archives

See the final steel house designed by the late architect Donald Wexler.

Discover the Latest Midcentury Gem

See the late, famed Palm Springs architect Donald Wexler’s final steel house completed just weeks ago. The self-guided tours last 45 minutes and are conducted by docents who offer in-depth detail on The Last Wexler. The final tour (Feb. 20) features a VIP cocktail reception and a Q&A with Lance O’Donnell, the home’s managing architect ($50).

Visit www.modernismweek.com for Modernism Week's full schedule of lectures, tours, and activities. Visit www.palmspringslife.com for daily coverage of the event.

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