Palm Springs Modernism Week 2016

Palm Springs is one of my favorite spots in Southern California.  With its concentration of mid-century architecture and storied Hollywood history I love exploring its sunny streets. And there’s no better time to explore than Modernism Week. I had such a wonderful time last year that I knew I just had to go again. Luckily, I received a press pass and headed there on an unseasonably warm February day.


Unfortunately, my partner in crime, Shannon, couldn’t make it on this visit so I decided to explore some of the Modernism week events that we would ordinarily skip. Hollywood home tours are just not the same without my favorite sis so I decided to spend a more low key day in the dessert.

I spent a lot of time at CAMP – the official headquarters of the celebration. This year it was located in the former J. W. Robinson Department Store on Palm Canyon Drive. This former shopping mecca was filled with exhibits from some of the week’s sponsors, a tasty snack bar and the official modernism week store where I managed to find a super cute t-shirt. As I began to view the vendor’s booths I nearly toppled over with excitement when I saw this.

Mad Men modernism week

MAD MEN! If you don’t know, Mad Men was one of my absolute favorite television shows. For seven seasons I was caught up in the lives of Don, Joan, Roger, Betty and my favorite, Peggy Olson. I had no idea these artifacts would be on display and I was so excited to see them in person.

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There was so much detail that I couldn’t help but look it over again and again. It really shows how much care went into accurately portraying the 1960’s in the show. Bravo, Mad Men, for a job well done.

I eventually pried myself away and decided to head out to the Christopher Kennedy Compound. Each year modernism week has a show house that highlights the work of the some of the industry’s top designers. This year the home was located at the Indian Canyons Golf Course and was a stunning example of Palm Springs architecture.


Once inside I had mixed feeling on the various room designs. I’ve been to a few show houses and often I don’t care for the designs presented – they’re just not my style. Unfortunately, I found myself in the same situation here. Most of the rooms I would never want to live in. Despite that I did find some details that I loved. Like this wallpaper –

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this cabinetry and wallpaper


And this sparkly curtain.


And the back patio. I LOVED the back patio.

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THIS is Palm Springs.

After viewing the house I decided to head to the Palm Springs Art Museum where a series of lectures were held. I made it just in time to catch From the Vault – the Herman Miller Archives. It was given by Amy Auscherman, the company’s archivist and she presented a fascinating slide show of the amazing pieces in the companies collection. From correspondence to advertisements to designs to furniture the Herman Miller Archive is a treasure trove of mid-century design.


After the lecture I decided to head on home as night was beginning to fall and I had to be to work early the next morning. This year I decided to experience the quieter side of Modernism Week and I really enjoyed it. I made new discoveries and saw beautiful mid-century artifacts. I can’t wait to see what next year brings.


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