As the desert heats up (80 degrees today!), so does the excitement surrounding the upcoming 9th annual Modernism Week in Palm Springs. With the recently announced partnership between Modernism Week and Goldenvoice, creator of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, this year’s event running from Feb. 13 – 23, 2014, promises to be bigger and better than ever. With just under three weeks before Modernism Week kicks off, many of the evening parties and events are selling out, but we’ve got you covered on the options with tickets still available, all providing stellar opportunities to sip cocktails and rub elbows with fellow modernism-loving folks after the daytime architecture tours and lectures end and the sun goes down in the desert.
Thursday, February 13: Modern Mambo
8 – 11 p.m., $150
Kick off Modernism Week at the hottest party west of Havana! The Caliente Tropics hotel, built in 1964 and the original home of the Congo Room in Palm Springs, will be transformed into a mid-century modern Mambo club designed by Socialize Palm Springs. DJ Alf Alpha will keep the dance party going with his selection of dance music and Latin Mambo fever! You don’t want to miss this over-the-top tropical extravaganza with specialty cocktails provided by Ultimat Vodka, delicious bites from Crave and Godiva and more surprises throughout the night! Tickets and additional information here.
Friday, February 14: Motown to Memphis at the Purple Room
7 – 10 p.m., $100
Relive the glamour of a forgotten era with dinner and a show at a swanky 1960s supper club. The legendary Purple Room at Club Trinidad first opened its doors in 1960, and the still-popular venue is considered to be one of Palm Springs’s original Rat Pack hangouts, where Frank Sinatra brought his friends to eat, drink and play. The Purple Room re-opened this year featuring updated décor, an enlarged performance stage and state-of-the-art sound. Come enjoy a retro-inspired dinner and top notch mid-century modern musical entertainment from Chicago’s Gand Band, dedicating this special night to the great Motown, Memphis and Philadelphia soul hits featuring vocalist “Mr. Fabulous” Tony Grandberry. Tickets and additional information here.
Saturday, February 15: LAB ART in Palm Springs Artist Reception
6 – 10 p.m., FREE
LAB ART Los Angeles, the largest street art gallery in the world, is partnering with Gallery 446 in Palm Springs to present LAB ART in Palm Springs, a collection of street art curated by Eddie Donaldson. The show, running from Feb. 15 – Mar. 22, will kick of with an opening artist reception at Gallery 446 on Saturday, Feb. 15. LAB ART in Palm Springs is hosted by Laurie Weitz; also partnering in the event are Luis Alberto Calderon and Ashley Ackerman. Gallery 446 is located at 446 S. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs 92262, and more information about the show and opening reception is available here.
Saturday, February 15: PS ModCom Annual Gala – A Night at the Casbah
7 – 10 p.m., $150 members, $175 nonmembers
The Palm Springs Modern Committee invites you to celebrate the mysteries of Morocco at the enchanting Bougain Villa estate. This mid-century modern Moroccan oasis, built from an early plan by Hugh Kaptur and completely redesigned by Albert Frey into a glorious glass and mirrored pavilion, floats high above the desert floor enjoying captivating views of the shimmering lights of the Palm Springs medina below.
Begin your adventure by boarding the caravans for a journey up the narrow winding hillside where guests will be greeted by the tantalizing scents and sounds of this inviting Casbah, evoking memories of the far away cities of Casablanca and Tangier. Explore the surrounding landscape labyrinth leading to romantic secret gardens amid the backdrop of the soaring mountainside. Taste delicious Moroccan hors d’oeuvres, sip on mint and citrus cocktails and indulge in rose-scented delicacies while enjoying authentic entertainment and dancing under the stars. Channel your inner Moroccan bohemian and dress accordingly for this magical night. Tickets and additional information here.
Sunday, February 16: Man About Modernism – An Evening with Stephen Collins
4 – 6 p.m., $75
He’s an Englishman with a Frenchman’s esprit de corps; a world traveler schooled by the “University of Life.” A self-described semi-nomadic bon vivant, he has traversed the globe from Marrakesh to London, Paris to Palm Beach, collecting beautiful things for the past twenty years. He is a hotelier, a designer, an art historian, a writer, and now more recently, an international TV personality seen on BBC and Bravo TV. Stephen Collins is the very definition of a Man About Modernism by virtue of the fact that he is so unequivocally hard to define. Driven by an “insatiable hunger for experiencing, first hand, the aesthetic, architectural, visual and culinary delights of an ever diminishing world,” Stephen has traveled the globe extensively only to find his way to Palm Springs, which he now calls home. For the first time ever, he has brought his life’s collection of rare and intriguing art, artifacts, furniture and other examples of 20th century design objets together in one singularly beautiful place – his own eclectic residence. Design East of La Brea (de LaB), a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that celebrates and supports creatives in their efforts to enlighten, improve and engage, is pleased to take their annual field trip to Palm Springs straight to Stephen’s doorstep for a very special evening with this international Man of Modernism. Join Stephen and de LaB for an exploration of 20th century design and a peek at this keen collector’s private stash, while enjoying handcrafted hors d’oeuvres, signature cocktails by Ultimat Vodka, superb California wines and world grooves by DJ Alf Alpha. Tickets and additional information here.
Monday, February 17: Hotel Lautner VIP Tour & Dinner
2:15 & 4:30 p.m., $75 & $125 (tour only: $50)
Enjoy a rare opportunity to tour the award winning Hotel Lautner designed by legendary architect John Lautner in 1947. Along with the John Lautner Foundation, tour all four luxury units of this world renowned property. The iconic desert hideaway once known as the Desert Hot Springs Hotel was reimagined as the award winning Hotel Lautner in 2011, with the owners, Tracy Beckmann and Ryan Trowbridge, meticulously renovated the property over a period of 3 ½ years. They paid homage to the four primary elements used in the original construction of the property: concrete, steel, redwood and glass, winning the accolades of “Palm Springs Modern Committee – Best Commercial Renovation 2011” and “12th Best Designed Hotel” by California Home + Design.
The tours range from: two afternoon one-hour tours of the hotel and the newly anticipated “Laut 47” event space, one VIP twilight tour which offers a chance to meet the owners and enjoy appetizers and wine catered by Two Bunch Palms, and lastly a limited number of VIP tour/dinner tickets available offering the VIP tour plus a four-course tasting and wine pairing at the new Essence restaurant at Two Bunch Palms.
A portion of the proceeds will benefit the John Lautner Foundation, striving to preserve the Lautner archive, educate the public on the architecture of Lautner, and provide support for preservation, protection and maintenance of all Lautner structures. Be a part of this important movement by supporting the foundation so that you too can play an integral role in preserving Lautner’s architectural legacy. Tickets and additional information here.
Tuesday, February 18: Surf Rock – The Blue Hawaiians
7 – 10 p.m., $75
Head to the legendary Purple Room at Club Trinidad to party like the Rat Pack at the newly-updated 1960s supper club, with a retro-inspired dinner and musical entertainment from legendary surf-rockers, the Blue Hawaiians, who bring the “Lava Lounge” vibe to Palm Springs. Tickets and additional information here.
Wednesday, February 19: Thayer Coggin by Milo Baughman Furniture Exhibit Preview & Cocktail Party
6:30 – 8:30 p.m., $25
Join Marc Russell Interiors and Thayer Coggin in celebrating sixty years of custom upholstered furniture and the groundbreaking designs from Thayer Coggin by California native and internationally-acclaimed iconic mid-century modern furniture designer Milo Baughman. View vintage Milo Baughman pieces and enjoy a preview of Thayer Coggin-designed furniture by Milo Baughman available exclusively in the Greater Palm Springs area at MarcRussell Interiors.
Enjoy tray-passed light hors d’oeuvres and a hosted wine and vodka bar as well as a brief presentation from Thayer Coggin’s director of sales and marketing Phil Miller, who knew both Mr. Coggin and Mr. Baughman personally. Mr. Coggin’s daughter and current owner of Thayer Coggin, Royale Coggin Wiggen, is also scheduled to attend. Tickets and additional information here.
Thursday, February 20: Twilight Tour and Wine Reception at the Edris House
4:30 – 6:30 p.m., $100
This is a rare opportunity to experience the privately-owned Edris House during the most seductive time of day in the desert, twilight. Enjoy a visit through the interior of the home, and then move to the tranquil stone terrace over the pool with a glass of wine in hand and watch as the sun sets over the valley and the lights of Palm Springs far below begin to sparkle.
A gem amongst gems, this inviting and pristine home built in 1953 reflects imaginative post-war residential finery as much as the architect’s personal philosophy. With few exceptions, everything is original but the carpeting and furniture. A resourceful synthesis of organic materials, knotless Douglas fir, local stone and indigenous landscape, the house quietly embraces the exclusive hillside enclave of Little Tuscany, epitomizing architect E. Stewart Williams’s guiding principle that architecture should come from the earth rather than being placed on it. The Edris House is designated as a Class 1 Historical Site by the City of Palm Springs.
All proceeds from this event will be directed by the Palm Springs Modern Committee and the Palm Springs Preservation Foundation toward funding the research and application costs for additional historical designations of important mid-century modern structures within Palm Springs.
Friday, February 21: Jump, Jive and Wail – Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers
7 – 10 p.m., $100
If you haven’t made it to the Purple Room yet, don’t miss this retro-inspired dinner and musical entertainment by world-renowned harmonica player Rod Piazza, who brings his special blend of low-down Chicago grit, suave West Coast swing and jazz, and the rhythmic drive of the best early R&B and rock & roll to this special night of swingin’, rockin’ blues. Rod and his band, the Mighty Flyers, have won or been nominated for every major blues award, and keep the jump blues tradition alive and well. Tickets and additional information here.
Saturday, February 22: Mod Eats with Kurt Cyr
5:30 – 6:30 p.m., $40
The attendees of “Mod Eats” will receive a souvenir apron and an autographed copy of ‘Centerpieces through the Year’ by Kurt Cyr, while enjoying signature cocktails as they roll up their sleeves and make mid-century inspired hors d’oeuvres. Join Kurt and travel back in time to experience the tastes made popular in the 1950s and 1960s. Any attending “Mod Chefs” that wish to dine at the Saguaro’s restaurant Tinto after the class will receive a complimentary bottle of wine with their dinner. Tickets and additional information here.
Sunday, February 23: Trina Turk and Sunnylands Chic – Lecture and Reception
3:30 – 6:30 p.m., Lecture only: $30, Lecture & Reception: $100
Celebrate a fantastic end to Modernism Week with Trina Turk! This very special closing event celebrates ‘Sunnylands Chic’ with renowned designer Trina Turk, beginning at the Rancho Mirage Library where Trina will present an entertaining and illuminating talk about the elegant and chic lifestyle of Walter and Leonore Annenberg and how it is reflected though design at the historic Annenberg Estate at Sunnylands, designed by A. Quincy Jones. Trina will also describe how Sunnylands has informed her viewpoint as a designer, representing the epitome of the Palm Springs lifestyle incorporating color, architecture, landscape, interior design, fashion and art. Immediately following the lecture, a limited number of tickets are available to attend an exclusive and memorable cocktail reception with Trina at the dazzling Sunnylands Center & Gardens. Visit with Trina in this beautifully refined setting that was impeccably designed by Los Angeles-based architect Frederick Fisher. Live music will fill the air as you imbibe on specialty premium cocktails on the scenic outdoor terrace and enjoy tray-passed hors d’oeuvres generously provided by Lulu California Bistro. View the modern sculptures from the Annenberg private collection and experience the unique opportunity to casually explore the pristinely planted gardens designed by the Office of James Burnett at dusk. Tickets and additional information here.
Images via Modernism Week and Sunnylands