The Agenda: 2017 Palm Springs Modernism Week Edition


In honor of this year’s event, we’re dedicating today’s Agenda to Palm Springs Modernism Week. Whether you’re a veteran or first timer to the affair, it’s hard to decide how to split your time. The Show House, aka Christopher Kennedy Compound, in which nearly 20 top tastemakers do up the rooms of a sprawling estate in the Andreas Hills area of Palm Springs, is a must; as is the annual show and sale (Feb. 18–20) at the convention center. A timed Double Decker bus tour, many of which are already sold out, is a great way to take in all the mid-century madness—especially if you’ve never been before. More seasoned festival goers will want in on the Starlight After Party, the cooler counterpart to this year’s Red Carpet Gala (Feb. 18), a cocktail party where you’ll have the chance to rub elbows with the celebrity designers who filled the rooms of this year’s show house. And this is just the beginning. So we scoured Modernism Week’s event schedule to suss out a handful of other events to put on your radar. 


Modernism HQ

CAMP Events

CAMP, short for Community and Meeting Place, is Modernism Week’s central nucleus and will play host to many of its own not-to-be-missed programming. Stop here throughout the day to take a break from the action and buy tickets to intriguing sessions, including Modernism With A Twist (Feb. 18–25); Moving Sam Maloof (Feb. 20); and Ask A Landscape Designer (Feb. 18), during which you have 30 minutes to ask for advice from a professional. 

When: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m., Fri. 2/17–Sun. 2/26

Where: 350 S. Palm Canyon Dr.



New Century Modern  

Mid-century modern isn’t for everyone, but the experts at Boulevard turn mid-century classics on their head by adding in 21st century flair. See how they mix in lighting, accessories, and furniture for a more eclectic contemporary look. Arteriors Home and Artemide Lighting will be on hand to illustrate how their pieces can transform more traditional mid-century settings.   

When: 7 – 10 p.m., Fri. 2/18

Where: Boulevard Vintage and Contemporary Home Furnishings, 830 N. Palm Canyon Dr.  


Hotel Lautner

Talk + Tour

The Visionary John Lautner  

Architect, architecture critic, and author Alan Hess leads a discussion about the legacy of John Lautner, the visionary who was often misunderstood by his contemporaries. His genius may very well have influenced later architects like Rem Koolhaas and Zaha Hadid. Hess will dive into why Lautner’s work was so hard for the mainstream to grasp as well as what it can offer to those working in the field today. Then, if the talk leaves you longing for more, hit up this rare opportunity to tour the award-winning hotel designed by Lautner in 1947 and meticulously renovated by Tracy Beckmann and Ryan Trowbridge in 2011. You’ll get an inside look at two of the property’s luxury suites.    

When: Talk, 10 – 11 a.m.,Fri. 2/17; Tour, Sun. 2/19

Where: Talk, Palm Springs Art Museum Annenberg Theater, 101 N. Museum Dr.; Tour, Hotel Lautner, 67710 San Antonio St. 



Elrod = Diamonds Are Forever  

Longtime shelter magazine editor and writer Adele Cygelman will share her expertise on the life and work of Arthur Elrod, the famous interior designer who ruled Palm Springs from the time he opened his firm in 1953 until his untimely death in a car crash in 1974. Not only did Elrod collaborate with other Palm Springs stars, including William F. Cody, E. Stewart Williams, and John Porter Clark, but he also designed the home of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, which helped set the stage for Palm Springs’ transformation from a wasteland of desert dude ranches to cosmopolitan resort town. But the crowning glory of his career was the space-age concrete-and-glass home he commissioned from John Lautner (you may recall it from a scene in Diamonds Are Forever).    

When: 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Fri. 2/17

Where: Palm Springs Art Museum Annenberg Theater, 101 N. Museum Dr.   

‘Stellar Axis – Antarctica’ 2006 – Lita Albuquerque – Photo credit: Jean de Pomereu – Courtesy of Peter Blake Gallery


Art Palm Springs

If you’re looking to take home a piece of the action, get your ticket to the sixth annual Art Palm Springs featuring global galleries and post-war and contemporary artists. Lia Skidmore of Skidmore Contemporary Art in Santa Monica goes so far as to say that, “the best L.A. art fair is in Palm Springs.” Sold.

When: Fri. 2/17–Sun. 2/19  

Where: Palm Springs Convention Center, 277 N. Avenida Caballeros  


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