Mod Madness: Modernism Week 2017

By Bob Bogard


Modernism returns February 16-26, 2017, highlighting midcentury modern architecture, art, interior and landscape design, and vintage culture in Palm Springs. For the twelfth year, the 11-day festival will feature a wide array of events including the Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale, tours of iconic homes in more than 25 neighborhoods including the Signature Home Tour on both weekends, architectural walking, biking and double-decker bus tours, a world-class series of film screenings and informative talks, the Modernism Week Show House: Christopher Kennedy Compound, classic cars, garden tours, a vintage travel trailer exhibition, and nightly parties.


The 17th annual Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale returns to the Palm Springs Convention Center (February 17-20) and will feature 85 premier national and international dealers offering furniture, decorative and fine arts representing design movements of the 20th century. Also on Friday, February 17 the public is invited to attend a free special dedication on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars for renowned architect John Lautner. The ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. at the Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center, Edwards Harris Pavilion at 300 S. Palm Canyon Drive.


CAMP, Modernism Week’s ‘Community and Meeting Place’ and headquarters for tours and events, will be located in a dynamic tented structure at 350 S. Palm Canyon Drive. CAMP will feature stimulating programs and opportunities to meet authors, designers, and other industry luminaries through a variety of planned activities and are the ticket hub for the daily Premier Double Decker Architectural Bus Tours. Ferguson, Modernism Week’s exclusive Kitchen, Bath and Lighting Sponsor, will present entertaining culinary demonstrations in their state-of-the-art kitchen, popular drink mixology sessions explore retro-cocktail recipes, and Makerville will offer ‘Think and Drink’ cocktail hour events throughout the week, featuring two different “Modernism with a Twist” talks.


Education outreach has always been a core element of Modernism Week programming. This year there will be a variety of film screenings, including the U.S. film premiere of “Harry Seidler – Modernist,” a new documentary and an Architecture Film Series featuring the West Coast premiere of “Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw The Future.” Additional film screenings include the West Coast premiere of “Windshield – A Vanished Vision” that depicts the construction of and the story of the wealthy family who commissioned Richard Neutra to build a massive summer home on the Eastern Seaboard, “Claremont Modern: The Convergence of Art + Architecture at Midcentury,” and “Design for Modern Living: Millard Sheets and the Claremont Art Community.”


“Beyond ‘Poolside Gossip:’ An onstage conversation between Nelda Linsk and Gary Johns and the film The High Life: Slim Aarons” will be offered on February 23. Gary Johns will moderate a discussion, highlighting Nelda Linsk’s longtime friendship with Slim and the day that Poolside Gossip was photographed at the Kaufmann House. A screening of the newly released film ‘The High Life: Slim Aarons’ will follow. It will be followed by a cocktail reception at a glamorous 1957 midcentury modern estate ($45 – $150).


For the fourth year, Christopher Kennedy will bring together nearly twenty of the nation’s most prominent tastemakers to create uniquely designed rooms in the Modernism Week Show House: The Christopher Kennedy Compound. Christopher has partnered with lifestyle writer and social media sensation Kelly Lee (aka ‘Kelly Golightly’) and her photographer husband, Fred Moser, to renovate their spectacularly sited home in the Andreas Hills area of Palm Springs. Daily tours and many other exciting evening events will be offered throughout the week.

Back by popular demand is a party at the Museum of Pinball in Banning, rarely open to the public and one of the best-kept secrets of the midcentury modern revival. ‘Pinball Fever’ on February 25 will be an evening of partying in a midcentury modern atmosphere while enjoying unlimited free-play on more than 700 beautifully restored vintage arcade and pinball machines.

On February 19 and 20, Atomic Ranch Magazine will offer a panel discussion and tour of two homes centered on the theme “Restoring or Renovating your Midcentury Modern Home…Problems SOLVED!” A panel of experts will discuss the common problems midcentury modern homeowners face when purchasing a period home and embarking on home improvements. Following the seminar, participants will be able to tour two renovated homes where homeowners, contractors and other experts will be on hand to discuss the renovation experience and answer questions.


All Modernism Week events are open to the public and tickets are available at Highlights include architectural tours, talks, and parties in significant buildings rarely open to the public. To receive updates, visit and follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

For the Modernism Week Schedule read HERE or at