Modernism Week’s signature event will take place February 13-23, 2020, celebrating fifteen years of highlighting midcentury modern design, architecture, art, fashion and vintage culture in Palm Springs.

For it’s fifteenth year, the 11-day festival will feature a wide array of events including the Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale – this is the 20th anniversary of the show and it will feature a record 90 dealers this year. Tours of iconic homes in more than 30 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, classic cars, garden tours, the historic Annenberg Estates at Sunnylands tour, nightly parties, and much more. Following are highlights of Modernism Week 2020. For dates, times, costs and a much more extensive schedule of events visit


In 2005, following the success of both the Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale and the annual symposium organized by the Palm Springs Art Museum’s Architecture and Design Council, a group of local design and architecture aficionados created a committee to produce Modernism Week’s first event in February 2006 to showcase the world-renowned midcentury modern architecture of Palm Springs.

Among the members of the initial steering committee were representatives from the Modernism Show & Sale, Palm Springs Preservation Foundation, the Palm Springs Modern Committee, the Palm Springs Historical Society, and the Palm Springs Art Museum.

The first weekend included only a few hundred participants who attended five events including the symposium, a few lectures and a reception. Each year the demand for additional programing increased and the founding partner organizations expanded their offerings. By 2009, programming was offered on two weekends. Eventually mid-week programming was introduced, and the event continued to grow progressively in scope and attendance until it reached its current schedule of 11 days and hundreds of events. 

Modernism Week is the largest celebration of midcentury and modern architecture, design and culture. It started out as a collaborative, grass-roots community effort comprised of a few home tours, cocktail mixers and educational events that were planned to coincide with the Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale occurring in Palm Springs, CA each February since 2000. Modernism Week has now grown into an internationally acclaimed annual event that spans 11 days; and has spawned a shorter October version called “Modernism Week Fall Preview.” Both events include home tours, lectures, films, double-decker bus architectural tours, vintage theme parties and more. In 2018, more than 10,000 attendees participated in Fall Preview and in 2019 more than 152,000 attendees enjoyed the more than 375

Modernism Week events.

Giving Back

Modernism Week is a charitable organization. It provides scholarships to local students pursuing college educations in the fields of architecture and design as and supports local and state preservation organizations and neighborhood groups in their efforts to preserve modernist architecture throughout the state of California. In 2019, more than $1.87 million was raised by partner organizations that produced Modernism Week events. This money was either gifted to other nonprofit charitable organizations or reinvested back into the city for civic improvements.

Modernism Week 2020 Showcase and Featured Homes

Showcase Home

Gilman Residence, 1948 

Herbert W Burns, Architectural Designer & Builder

Described by architectural historian and author Steven Keylon, as one of Burns’ “more lavish homes.” Having been partially demolished and sitting neglected for many years, this 1948 home of Dr and Mrs. Gillman is being restored for Modernism Week 2020 by the dynamic duo at Thomboy Properties.
Inspired by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier in the style of Late Moderne, a precursor to what would later be termed “Modernism”, Mr. Burns grounded the design of this home squarely in that vernacular: horizontal lines with flat roofs, cantilevered overhangs, vertical pylons, screens, grids and planters.

The Gillman house was designed to take advantage of the natural beauty of the desert as well as the appealing climate. Burns captured the indoor-outdoor lifestyle by seamlessly running his trademark Santa Fe block from the outside all the way through to the inside of the home. He also added easy accessibility to the outside with wide horizontal overhangs for shade and sun protection. To further blend into the Palm Springs environment he used natural materials such as wood and Arizona sandstone (which has been sandblasted and restored to its original finish). In addition, Burns selected a color palate that mimicked the natural colors of the desert.

Featured Homes:

Guggenheim House (1967)

Architect: Unknown,

Modernism Week is pleased to debut this breathtaking project by Michael Ostrow of Grace Home Furnishings. A 1967 architectural gem, the home was recently renovated made to stunningly capture modern Palm Springs style. Sited on a quarter acre lot, the 2,800 square foot home has four bedrooms, three bathrooms and a beautiful pool and spa. The interior spaces feature a seamless blend of contemporary furnishings and vintage pieces, and the bold color palette expertly mixes pattern and texture to achieve a fun yet sophisticated atmosphere that embodies the carefree Palm Springs lifestyle.

Divine DuBois (1972)

Architect: Charles DuBois

Mastermind behind the very popular Modernism Week Show Houses in previous years, interior designer Christopher Kennedy, debuts a spectacular renovation of a quintessential midcentury property just for Modernism Week 2020.   As part of the iconic Canyon Estates neighborhood, this freestanding “Executive Home” was one of the last and most expensive properties in the development when it was first built. Backing up to the property of Smoke Tree Ranch, this home is 3400 square feet and was designed by Charles DuBois in 1972.  

Miles Bates “Wave” House (1955)

Architect: Walter S. White

The Miles Bates House—known as the Wave House for its curving roof that mimics the San Jacinto mountains behind it—is being opened publicly for the first time since its remarkable restoration. Designed in 1955, it was one of more than forty houses in and around Palm Desert designed by local-born Walter S. White, an architect and inventor who had worked for Rudolph Schindler, Albert Frey, as well as Douglas Aircraft.

Mesa Modern (2019)

Produced by: Karen Okner Design Experience Palm Springs’ transformation from midcentury modern to contemporary architecture and design at the Mesa Modern, a featured design house by interior designer Michelle Boudreau that gains its inspiration from a global perspective on art, architecture, and interior and landscape design. The city’s new design movement is represented in this newly-constructed home that emphasizes outstanding architecture and stunning outdoor spaces at the base of the beautiful San Jacinto mountains.

Modernism by the Numbers

2019 Estimated Attendance : 152,000

2019 Estimated Revenue Generated : $57 million

More than 375 Modernism Week events

CAMP, Modernism Week’s ‘Community and Meeting Place’ and headquarters for tours and events, saw more than 38,000 visitors throughout the festival in 2019.

Modernism Week attendees came from all fifty states, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, with California accounting for the majority of attendees (54.8%). Modernism Week attendees came from 384 of 482 cities in California, or 80% of all Californian cities. Locally, the Coachella Valley represented 33% of tickets sold in California

It is a truly global event with twenty five countries represented including Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Germany, New Zealand, France and even as far away as Armenia and India. In 2019, more than $1.87 million was raised by partner organizations that produced Modernism Week events. This money was either gifted to other nonprofit charitable organizations or reinvested back into the city for civic improvements.

For more info read here