Frey House II will open for tours during Modernism Week. In addition to daytime tours, a limited number of tickets are available for the twilight tours that include a glass of bubbly.
PHOTO BY LANCE GERBER
Do the hustle.
It’ll be a disco inferno when Modernism Week officially starts strutting its stuff Feb. 15 with a 1970s-themed Opening Night extravaganza. “We’ve moved to the Palm Springs Air Museum, so we can have a bigger dance floor,” Modernism Week CEO Lisa Vossler Smith reveals. “We’re hoping that a thousand of our closest friends will join us for opening-night fever.”
A social media darling that would fit right in at Barbieland is among the well-known properties that will open its doors to the public for Modernism Week tours and events. “Famously known as the #ThatPinkDoor house in Palm Springs, it’s common name is Villa Sierra,” Vossler Smith says. “It will be open for two days of tours as well as an evening cocktail party.”
Shop til you drop.
The Palm Springs Convention Center will transform into the ultimate shopping destination Feb. 16–19 for the Palm Springs Modernism Show. More than 130 exhibitors from across the globe will showcase vintage furnishings, décor, fashions, and other fabulous collectibles. Book a ticket for the Modernism Show’s preview party Feb. 16 to rub elbows with design connoisseurs and see what’s on offer before anyone else.
Villa Sierra (aka #ThatPinkDoor).
PHOTO BY ERIC CHEIL
The Palm Springs Modernism Show.
PHOTO BY JAKE HOLT
Perched in the foothills of the San Jacinto Mountains, Frey House II was midcentury architect Albert Frey’s second residence in the Coachella Valley. Inside, a huge boulder divides the living room and bedroom. Outside, a pool deck looks out upon the vast desert beyond. The house will be open throughout Modernism Week for daytime tours as well as evening receptions that include a glass of bubbly.
Dress like Bond (or a Bond girl).
Sartorialists can feast their golden eyes on vintage ensembles inspired by iconic 007 films like Dr. No, Goldfinger, and From Russia With Love during a Bond-themed fashion show Feb. 18 at Temple Isaiah. Attendees are encouraged to don their best spy apparel — or arm themselves with something from the Mitchells Palm Springs pop-up shop.
Original House of Tomorrow homeowners Bob and Helene Alexander in a photograph for Look magazine.
PHOTO COURTESY CAL BERNSTEIN, LOOK MAGAZINE PHOTOGRAPH COLLECTION, LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, PRINTS & PHOTOGRAPHS DIVISION
Prepare for an icon to rise.
The Aluminaire House, an architecturally significant structure designed in 1931 by Albert Frey and A. Lawrence Kocher, is being permanently reconstructed at Palm Springs Art Museum. It may not be ready for this year’s Modernism Week, but you can learn about it during architect talks at Palm Springs Art Museum’s Annenberg Theater. After the presentations, pop over to the Architecture and Design Center to check out the retrospective Albert Frey: Inventive Modernist.
Retrace the footsteps of Elvis.
Known as the House of Tomorrow, the curvaceous Alexander Estate built by architect William Krisel is where Elvis and Priscilla Presley famously honeymooned in 1967. The overhauled property returns to Modernism Week with a twist: “Since the last time it was on tour,” Vossler Smith notes, “it has received an interior renovation [by Michelle Boudreau Design].”
Catch a flick.
Modernism Week includes more than tours, parties, and talks. There are also several documentary screenings scheduled at both the Annenberg Theater and CAMP Theater, including Back to the House of Tomorrow; Modernism, Inc.; New England Modernism; and Brown vs. Brown, which explores the legacy of New Zealand architect Peter Mark-Brown from his son’s perspective.
Score an entrance to The Four Hundred.
For the first time in Modernism Week history, the Herbert Burns–designed complex The Four Hundred will welcome visitors for tours. Located in the Historic Tennis Club neighborhood adjacent to Burns’ similarly designed Town & Desert Apartments (now The Hideaway), the nine-unit property originally constructed in 1954 features a mix of low-slung masonry elements and built-in wall clocks.
A pool at The Four Hundred, a notable 1950s residential complex.
PHOTO COURTESY JULIUS SHULMAN / © J. PAUL GETTY TRUST, GETTY RESEARCH INSTITUTE, LOS ANGELES (2004.R.10)
The double-decker bus tour, and the Palm Springs Modernism Show.
PHOTO COURTESY VISIT GREATER PALM SPRINGS
just the tips
Modernism Week CEO Lisa Vossler Smith offers three pieces of advice for first-timers.
For those who have never attended Modernism Week, a ride on one of the many bus tours will provide a comprehensive — and unobstructed — look at midcentury modern design in Palm Springs. “The double-decker bus is really the best way to get a bird’s-eye view of architecture,” Vossler Smith says.
Take It Home.
Hunt for souvenirs at one of the many shopping events, such as the Modernism Yard Sale, Curated Vintage Event, and Palm Springs Modernism Show. The latter “is the best place to see vintage furniture, décor, and home design and get inspiration that you can take back home.”
While most Modernism Week events have admission fees, Vossler Smith points out that there are also no-cost experiences, such as print-release parties at The Shag Store on Feb. 17 and 24, as well as Desert Open Studios’ self-guided art tours on Feb. 23 and 24. “They’re going to discuss how their artwork is influenced by the midcentury period masters.”