The Agenda: 2018 Palm Springs Modernism Week Edition


Every year we dedicate an Agenda to Palm Springs Modernism Week (February 15–25) because, with so much going on, it’s hard to decide how to split your time. The Show House, aka Moroccan Modern Manse, a 1975 custom build by architect Hal Lacy that’s been meticulously renovated and modernized with details and decorative touches like medallion cutouts, metal screens, and angled walls, is a must; as is the annual show and sale (Feb. 17–19) at the convention center. While you’re there, don’t miss the Carlos King of Gallery24Jewelry exhibition of rare pieces by William de Lillo, who came to Palm Springs to bedazzle Liberace, Mrs. William Randolph Hearst, Barbara Sinatra, and Dolores Hope in their jewels. Cheesy as it may sound, a timed Double Decker bus tour, many of which are already sold out, is a great way to take in all the midcentury madness—especially if you’ve never been before. Or tool around Indian Canyons by bike on this year’s self-guided Door Tour (Feb. 25), with a post-ride complimentary cocktail at the Saguaro to reward your efforts. Keep reading for five more Modernism Week events to put on your radar. 



Desert X at Art Palm Springs

The groundbreaking site-specific biennial won’t revisit Palm Springs until next year, but now’s your chance to hear the inside scoop straight from artistic director Neville Wakefield and co-curators Amanda Hunt and Matthew Schum. During this panel, they’ll talk about the California desert as a blank canvas for art and the socio-political-economic complexities of the Coachella Valley that make it such a rich subject for artists.    

When: 4 p.m., Fri. 2/16

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



Hidden Frey: The 2018 Social House

Every year, Modernism Week features an idea space where midcentury meets present-day modern, and this time around the home is the Hidden Frey. It’s been lovingly restored by Thomboy Properties and there are three different ways to see it. Be among the first to see the space before it opens for public tours at the preview party and panel with afternoon cocktails hosted by online A&D resource Hunker. Public tours and times are going fast, but you can still score tickets for morning and afternoon time slots. Or, opt for a 2-for-1 deal during the world premiere screening of Albert Frey: The Architectural Envoy followed by court-side cocktails at the Hidden Frey house.        

When: Talk, preview tour, and libations: 1 – 2:30 p.m., Sat. 2/17; Public tour: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Tues. 2/20; Evening reception: 5 – 9 p.m., Sun. 2/18

Where: Check-in location printed on ticket 



Architecture and Design Series 

While the film premiere of Sinatra in Palm Springs: The Place He Called Home sadly is sold-out, you can still snag a ticket to the second showing if you get up early on the morning of Sunday, Feb. 25. There are also plenty of other screenings during this series to satisfy your architecture and design cravings, including Koolhaas Houselife, which explores how the starchitect-designed House of Bordeaux is maintained from the perspective of its groundskeepers. 

When: Fri. 2/23–Sun. 2/25

Where: Camelot Theatres, 2300 E. Baristo Rd.



The Koerner Affair

Modernism Week’s closing night party at the Frank Sinatra Estate always sells out in minutes, but check out the Palm Spring Art Museum Architecture and Design Council’s spy-themed party instead. You’ll need a secret code to uncover the mysteries of this iconic home designed by E. Stewart Williams, which is rarely open to the public. Treat yourself to a few drinks from the James Bond-themed martini bar or take a stroll through the property’s secret gardens. Then bid on a one-of-a-kind travel experience on auction at the party—last year’s top trips included a private, curator-led museum tour in NYC. 

When: 5 p.m., Sat. 2/24

Where: Koerner House, address provided upon ticket purchase


Showcase & Cooking Demos

The Future of Kitchens with Thermidor

Get a first look at groundbreaking new product launches from the luxury appliance brand, which has redesigned some of its core products with innovations for the most tech-savvy kitchen. Stick around for cooking demos by local chefs and Top Chef winner Brooke Williamson. 

When: Fri. 2/16–Sun. 2/18 and Fri. 2/23–Sun. 2/25  

Where: Ferguson Kitchen at CAMP, 230 Museum Way



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