The uninitiated might assume that Modernism Week is all about cool mid-mod homes and chic poolside parties.
However, the 10-day modernism lovefest is also the home of one of the country’s largest marketplaces for 20th century furnishings — the Palm Springs Modernism Show, featuring decorative objects, ceramics, sculpture, pottery, art, vintage clothing, jewelry and accessories.
More than 85 exhibitors sit under one roof at the Palm Springs Convention Center for four days, Feb. 13-16.
photo by jim powers
A display at last year's show. Notice the Johnny Cash art piece in the background.
And if you want to be the first on your block to shop this fabulous collection before the show opens to the public, you should attend the glamorous Preview Gala on Feb. 13, which benefits Modernism Week’s scholarship program. Enjoy live music, sample tasty hors d’oeuvres, and have “first dibs” on the coolest stuff you’ll find anywhere. The show closes Feb. 16 with a free classic car show.
The Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale was the forerunner of what is now the phenomenally successful Modernism Week.
Fifteen years ago, Rosemary Kreiger and Gordon Merkle of Dolphin Promotions collaborated with Jacques Caussin, a dealer of 20th Century design and furniture, to take a leap of faith and launch the first Palm Springs Modernism Show. They believed the appetite for modernist vintage and retro collectibles would continue to grow and Palm Springs would be the ideal location for an annual showcase.
photo by Jim powers
A display from Archive Vintage Furniture out of Laguna Beach
“Who could have envisioned that what began 15 years ago essentially as an experiment to see if an organized modernism show would fly in Palm Springs, would become today a centerpiece of this globally recognized brand called Modernism Week?,” says Kreiger. “It's been an exciting journey and we have made many friends along the way, and look forward to many more anniversaries in the years ahead."
That enthusiasm isn’t just limited to the event organizers. The exhibitors love to come to Palm Springs as well. Dharam Damama has travelled from the east coast to participate since the show's inception.
“In the past 15 years, the antique market has evolved from a collectors market to a decorators market,” notes Damama. “It’s a wonderful show for us and we love the relaxed energy.”
Another exhibitor who has supported the Palm Springs Modernism Show from the beginning is LA-based Dennis Boses who has operated Off The Wall Antiques & Weird Stuff for 37 years.
“This is a great opportunity for the public to see some of the finest 20th Century objects,” says Boses. “Few places have this diversified spectrum – Palm Springs is a mecca for 20th century design.”
Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale, Feb. 13-15, Palm Springs Convention Center; tickets: www.modernismweek.com
Lydia Kremer has worked in the architecture and design communities of Palm Springs for more than 10 years. As a publicist, she promoted Palm Springs Modernism Week for seven years since its inception, she served on the Architectural Design Council board for five years, and was a board trustee for the California Preservation Foundation for five years.