Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale and Modern Design Expo Announce New Presenting Sponsor and Highlight New Special Events

The 19th annual Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale and the Palm Springs Modern Design Expo will take place at the Palm Springs Convention Center February 15-18, 2019 during Modernism Week. Dacor, a leading American luxury home appliance brand, is the new presenting sponsor.  In their immersive space at the Modern Design Expo, Dacor will feature many revolutionary home appliances and products, including the Modernist Collection of appliances, recently installed in the John Lautner Garcia House. During events at their space, Dacor will feature an interactive display of cutting-edge kitchen technology, bringing to life the vision of how Dacor products can be integrated and tailored to fit individual lifestyles and showcase the culture of modern-day entertaining.

“Dacor has been a leading home appliance brand for the past 50 years, and we’re thrilled for the opportunity to demonstrate to the Palm Springs design community our ability to push the boundaries of the modern kitchen, improve performance and fuel creativity,” said Randy Warner, President of Dacor.  

This year, the highly-regarded Show & Sale and the accompanying Modern Design Expo will feature several special events during the show and beyond. These include book signings, two free exhibitions in the Convention Center lobby, a film screening, and several informative talks. Weekend admission is $20 for both shows and includes return entry all weekend and a catalog. Show hours are Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Monday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance at winter.palmspringsmodernism.com. Tickets are also available at the door. The Palm Springs Convention Center is located at 277 N. Avenida Caballeros in Palm Springs.

The Hennessey + Ingalls Art and Architecture Bookstore booth at the Modernism Show & Sale will offer three author meet and greet/book signing opportunities on Friday, February 15, 2019 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. during the annual Preview Party. These include:

Melissa Riche and Jim Riche, authors of “Mod Mirage: The Midcentury Architecture of Rancho Mirage” will be on hand to discuss their book and sign copies. No longer overshadowed by neighboring Palm Springs, “Mod Mirage” reveals in photos and stories the historic homes and communities of Rancho Mirage that make up its significant midcentury heritage and is the first book to focus solely on Rancho Mirage's rich architecture while also discussing its influential social history. It documents the architecturally innovative homes and communities that were built on and adjacent to the historic Thunderbird and Tamarisk Country Clubs from 1950 to 1970, in what is now the city of Rancho Mirage, California. Some of the midcentury's most distinguished architects, including William Cody, Donald Wexler, William Krisel, E. Stewart Williams, and William Pereira, designed many of these structures, many of which are hidden behind country club gates and not easily accessible to the public. 

Adele Cygelman, author of “Arthur Elrod: Desert Modern Design” will also be on hand to discuss her book and sign copies. Her new book profiles Arthur Elrod, the most successful interior designer working in the Palm Springs area from 1954 to 1974. His forward-thinking midcentury interior design style appeared in primary and secondary homes, spec houses, country clubs, and experimental houses – in the desert and across the US. He was charming, handsome, and worked tirelessly for his A-list clientele, such as Lucille Ball and Walt Disney. Perhaps his most famous work was done in his own home, known as the Elrod House in Palm Springs, built by architect John Lautner in 1968.

Tim Street-Porter will sign copies of his new book “Palm Springs: A Modernist Paradise.” In original new photography, Palm Springs captures the allure of this famed modernist destination. The book profiles outstanding examples such as the Annenberg Estate, the Ford House, and the Kaufmann House, shown in their splendor, as well as today’s restorations by top interior designers such as Martyn Lawrence Bullard and fashion designer Trina Turk. A resource section provides information on modernist furnishing stores and other points of interest.

Two free exhibitions will be available to Modernism Week attendees in the Convention Center lobby outside the Show & Sale and Modern Design Expo. The Museum of California Design will present “Collecting California Design,” a display of functional objects created by mid-century California designers curated by museum director Bill Stern. It will be on view from Friday, February 15 through Monday, February 18. Book signings and discussion of Stern's new book “California Pottery: From Missions to Modernism” will also be offered at the exhibition throughout the weekend.

The other exhibition is called “ARTIFACTS OF THE FUTURE: Design in the Space Age 1957-1972.” Organized by Martin McGee, this free exhibition in the Convention Center’s lobby focuses on America’s 1960s-era love affair with space exploration and the futuristic pop culture that accompanied it. The exhibition will be on view from Friday, February 15 through Monday February 18. 

Related to the exhibition, on February 19 at 10 a.m. the Rancho Mirage Public Library will offer a free film screening of the 1969 film “Marooned” starring Gregory Peck, Richard Crenna, David Janssen, James Franciscus and Gene Hackman.  The thriller depicts three astronauts who are trapped and slowly suffocating in space in an Apollo module orbiting a space station resembling Skylab. It was released less than four months after the Apollo 11 moon landing and won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.

Following the screening, the library will offer at 2 p.m. a free lecture by McGee called “ARTIFACTS OF THE FUTURE: Space Age Culture and Design 1957-1972.” It further explains the objects included in the free exhibition at the Convention Center. Throughout the day, the library will also offer free tours of their recently opened Observatory. Both exhibitions are free and open to the public.

Several Show & Sale dealers will offer informative talks during Modernism Week. Jad Attal of Rago Arts and Auction Center will discuss “21st Century Studio & Industrial Design in our Landscapes and Transitional Spaces” on February 17 at 3:30 pm at the CAMP Theater. During his roughly decade-long career, Attal has helped bring to market, and successfully sell, thousands of midcentury modern pieces of furniture, sculpture and art, only a small portion of which were intended for outdoor use. In this talk, Attal will share some of those pieces and discuss in detail the intention of the artist or designer in how they were to be used. 

Elizabeth Norris of Vintage European Posters with a gallery in Berkeley will present “From the B-17 to the Jet Set” on February 22 at 11:30 a.m. at the CAMP Theater. Norris acquired her first original advertising poster right after finishing her studies at UC Berkeley, and has been unable to say no to a worthy poster ever since. In her 21-year career as a professional poster dealer, Norris has chased down ephemera in basements, attics and caves all over the world. She served two terms as the Vice President of the International Vintage Poster Dealers Association, exhibited at 20+ shows per year and developed a fascination with military posters. Norris co-curated Your Country Calls-Posters of the First World War at The Huntington Museum and Library in 2014. Her booth at the Show & Sale has been a perennial favorite. 

Original advertising posters are more than just a collectible. These high-impact, low-tech tools of mass communication provide an incredible opportunity to experience 20th century history both visually and viscerally. A recently acquired collection of rare WWII propaganda posters and soon after that, a collection of midcentury commercial airline posters from a retired travel agent, are where this story starts. The confluence of collections in hand raises the question “How did we get from war bonds and air raids to the jet-set age in just 20 years?” The poster captures transformative technology like no other medium. What’s new, what we want, and what government and industry wants us to want is recorded boldly on these artifacts, and its message is decodable in an instant. 

Judith Gura, who is also working with Rago Auctions, will present “Modernism After Postmodernism: Preserving the Past, Designing the Future” on February 17 at 2 p.m. at the CAMP Theater, located at 230 Museum Way in Palm Springs. Gura has written eight books about design and furnishings, including ‘Postmodernism Design Complete,’ listed by The New York Times as one of the best art books of the year, ‘Interior Landmarks: Treasures of New York’ (co-author), ‘Design After Modernism: Furniture and Interiors, 1970-2010,’ and ‘Sourcebook of Scandinavian Furniture: Designs for the 21st Century and Guide to Period Styles for Interiors.’ She is on the faculty of The New York School of Interior Design, has taught at Pratt Institute and FIT and writes and lectures frequently about 20th century design and decorative arts. 

Midcentury modern design shaped the way Americans lived, especially in California, for much of the late 20th century. But in the 1980s, Postmodernism shook up the design establishment with transgressive forms, clashing patterns, and controversy, leaving in its wake a new respect for history and the belief that good design could be unconventional, colorful, and fun. In this lively and thought-provoking presentation, Gura will recall Postmodernism’s origins and its current revival, showing how designers today are finding inspiration in the tradition-flouting ideas of the postmodernists to help preserve the past, respect the present, and plan for the future. A book signing will immediately follow the presentation.

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