Midcentury Modern design is forever linked with Palm Springs, where homes by famed architects William Cody, John Lautner, Albert Frey and Hugh Kaptur are preserved alongside the 1960s-era motor lodges, gas stations and post offices that have been transformed into hip resorts and restaurants.
Modernism‘s enormous popularity is enduring thanks to its simplicity, and it’s celebrated in a big way at Palm Springs’ Modernism Week, an annual festival of 20th-century design held this year from Feb. 17 through Feb. 27, bringing with it more than 350 events including house tours, panel discussions, bike and walking tours and parties.
Many events, such as tours of Sunnylands and Frank Sinatra’s Twin Palms estate, sell out quickly, but there are still plenty of events left to choose from.
Here, we offer 13 events that, as of our deadline, are still available. For a list of all events, and to purchase tickets, go to modernismweek.com.
1. ‘Vera: The Art and Life of an Icon,’ with Susan Seid and Trina Turk
Seid, author of the book “Vera: The Art and Life of an Icon,” and fashion designer Turk will discuss artist Vera Neumann, one of the most successful female design entrepreneurs of the 20th century. 10 a.m. Feb. 24. $20. The event will also be live-streamed for $10.
2. Lautner compound tour
Lautner’s 1947 residential fourplex, formerly known as the Hotel Lautner and now a collection of boutique rentals used for weddings and other events, opens its doors to the public once a year for Modernism Week. The tour in Desert Hot Springs includes an open-air event space and a 1957 California Bungalow. 10 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Feb. 18 through 20. $50.
3. Richard Neutra home tour in Silver Lake
In a special event held in Los Angeles, Noam Saragosti, resident director of the Neutra VDL Studio and Residences, will lead a tour of the home of Neutra, a 1932 glass box overlooking the Silver Lake Reservoir. 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Feb. 20 and 27. $50.
4. Party with Shag
Enjoy a rare opportunity to meet Josh Agle, the Southern California artist and designer popularly known as Shag, whose candy-colored works immortalize Midcentury hipsters and Tiki kitsch. After the event, Agle will sign books and the Modernism Week 2022 commemorative posters he designed, pictured above. 3 to 4 p.m. Feb. 20. $18. Agle will also host a print release party with cocktails and live music from 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 19 and 26 at the Shag Store, 745 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs.
5. Vintage trailer show
Peek inside one-of-a-kind renovated vintage trailers, campers, buses and motor homes and meet the owners, who will be on hand to discuss the restoration process. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 26 and 27. $25.
6. Double-decker architectural bus tour
Take in the city’s most famous architectural landmarks from the top of a double-decker bus as the guided tour drives past William Krisel’s House of Tomorrow, Neutra’s Kaufmann Desert House, pictured above, E. Stewart Williams’ legendary “Twin Palms” estate and the Tramway Gas Station, now the Palm Springs Visitors Center. Various dates. $110.
7. The Geometry of Home: The family story of the Stahl House
Join Shari Stahl Gronwald, Bruce Stahl and Kim Cross, authors of “The Stahl House: The Making of a Modernist Icon,” for an intimate talk about the little-known family story of Case Study House No. 22 (like the fact that they used to jump into the pool from one of the most famous rooftops in all of Los Angeles). The Stahl siblings will discuss the story of the house, share never-before-published photos and preview a documentary coming out later this year. Noon, Feb. 19. $50, includes a copy of the book.
8. Modern Blue House home tour
Tour this classic William Krisel home in the Vista las Palmas neighborhood that has been brought back to life courtesy of interior designer Michelle Boudreau. Noon to 4 p.m. Feb. 18 through 20 and Feb. 25 through 27. $35.
9. 1970s Sackley home tour
Visitors can expect architect Stan Sackley’s signature see-through fireplace and walls of glass and a warm palette of greens and blues from interior designers Michael Ostrow and Roger Stoker of Grace Home Furnishings, who renovated the 1975 Palm Springs home. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 18 through 20. $35.
10. Botanical Sculpture
Long Beach-based artist and landscape designer Dustin Gimbel will offer a visual tour of Sculptura Botanica, his 2020 solo show at the Sherman Library and Gardens, and will offer tips on incorporating sculptural objects into the home garden. 9 a.m. Feb. 24. $12.
11. The Palm Springs Modernism Show & Modern Design Expo
More than 90 exhibitors will sell vintage furniture, lighting, jewelry, ceramics and more at the 21st show. The show runs concurrently with the fourth Palm Springs Modern Design Expo inside the Palm Springs Convention Center. One ticket is good for admission to both shows. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 19, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 20, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 21. $30. Verification of fully vaccinated status or pre-entry negative COVID test result is required. $25 to $30.
12. Limón home tour
Originally built as an apartment house in 1964, the all-steel structure is now a colorful seven-bedroom boutique hotel in southern Palm Springs, Limón. As renovated by H3K Home+Design, the design is inspired by the graphics of the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Feb. 18 to 21 and 24 to 27. $35.
13. Silvertop: A Vision for the Future
Los Angeles architect Barbara Bestor, who spent three years renovating Lautner’s concrete domed Silvertop overlooking the Silver Lake Reservoir, will debut a short film, narrated by “a surprise guest host,” on the history and revitalization of Silvertop. After the film, Bestor will discuss the renovation in a slide show and answer questions from the audience. 11 a.m. Feb. 18. $15.