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February 11, 2014

Palm Springs Modernism Week Kicks Off

By Lesley McKenzie | Design, Events

Palm Springs Modernism Week Kicks Off
Courtesy of Palm Springs Modernism Show

Design buffs are descending upon Palm Springs for the desert oasis’s annual Modernism Week (February 13–23). Celebrating the city’s roots in midcentury architecture, design and culture, the 11-day extravaganza features more than a hundred events ranging from a twilight tour and wine reception at the Edris House (February 20), a private home built in 1953 that is impressively integrated into its rocky surrounds, to a sneak peek at the Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center (psmuseum.org), which is set to open this fall.

This year’s docket includes a slew of architectural tours by double-decker bus, offering a glimpse of the Southern California design destination’s 20th-century architectural gems, including the Neutra Kaufmann Desert House and the homes of Elvis and Frank Sinatra. And those in the know have already scored tickets to the Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale (February 14–17), now in its 14th year. Held at the Palm Springs Convention Center, the event features more than 85 world-renowned exhibitors, including well-known midcentury design dealers Mark McDonald of New York, Southern California–based Off the Wall and (new this year) Alexandre Huygevelde of Paris. (Exhibitor Timeless Modernism’s Barcelona chairs and Tugendhat table by Mies van der Rohe of Metallwerkstätten Berlin are pictured above.)

But for perhaps the ultimate ode to the 20th-century movement, head to the city’s first Modernism Week show house, dubbed the Christopher Kennedy Compound after the locally based designer who spearheaded the project. Here, his talents and those of his contemporaries like Celerie Kemble, Thomas Lavin and Trina Turk converge under one roof to create a stunning homage to California glamour and the laid-back vibe of Palm Springs. The house goes on the market following this year’s festivities so you, too, will have the opportunity to own a slice of modernist heaven. 760-799-9477; modernismweek.com.

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