• January 2012
  • 7th Annual Modernism Week

    Palm Springs’ Unique Contribution to Modern Culture

    The living room of the Arthur Elrod house has remained the same for more than 36 years.
    The living room of the Arthur Elrod house has remained the same for more than 36 years.
    Palm Springs Modernism Week, one of the country’s most popular annual events celebrating mid-century modern design, architecture and culture, is slated for February 16 through 26, 2012.

    Recently celebrating its 40th anniversary, Eisenhower Medical Center is a sponsor of this year’s event which will showcase architect Hicks Stone. Stone is the youngest child of architect Edward Durell Stone who designed Eisenhower Hospital and will lecture about his father’s architectural contributions to the valley.

    Launched in 2006 as the only event of its kind, Palm Springs Modernism Week has helped fuel a robust national interest in the preservation and appreciation of modernism. Modernism, a popular design aesthetic that originated in the 1950s and ‘60s, was typified by clean, simple lines and celebrated elegant informality that came to define desert modernism as a sought-after architectural genre.

    Now in its seventh year, the 11-day festival will feature more than 75 activities appealing to a wide range of interests and budgets. Free attractions will include the opening night illumination of architecturally significant buildings along Palm Canyon Drive, a Walk of Stars dedication honoring William F. Cody, FAIA, a vintage car show, a vintage Airstream and trailer show, and a Palm Springs Preservation Foundation architecture lecture.

    Popular ticketed activities will include double-decker architecture bus tours, an interior design home tour, a modernism film festival, architecture and design lecture series, a vintage fashion show and the Palm Springs ModCom Annual Gala Benefit. Among several new ticketed events being added in 2012 will be an opening night benefit cocktail reception at Elrod House, located steps away from Bob Hope’s famed Palm Springs hilltop manse and immortalized in the 1971 James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever.

    Another new highlight of Modernism Week will be the first public tours behind the famous pink walls of the Rancho Mirage estate of late philanthropists Leonore and Ambassador Walter Annenberg. The Annenbergs hosted world leaders, international dignitaries and acclaimed “thinkers” of the day at their renowned winter compound called Sunnylands. Additionally, the ticketed tour will feature the newly constructed Sunnylands Center — a modernist-inspired facility — and Gardens, not open to the general public until March 1.

    Also new in 2012, Modernism Week will debut its PreFab Showcase Village, featuring several cuttingedge prefabricated structures with smart-living ideas in a thoroughly unique environment. Daily tours will demonstrate how the newest alternative energy ideas are being incorporated into 21st century lifestyles while maintaining the highest standards in sophisticated design aesthetics. Each room will be designed by a different interior designer.

    On February 21 at 10:30 a.m., architect Hicks Stone will lecture at the Palm Springs Hilton Hotel. Cost is $10. Stone is the youngest child of architect Edward Durell Stone who designed Eisenhower Hospital.

    Modernism Week visitors may wind down from each day’s activities at intimate, evening cocktail receptions held in some of the area’s notable boutique inns.

    For more information, a complete schedule of events, locations and pricing, or to purchase tickets, visit www.modernismweek.com or call 760-333-9169.

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