The Palm Springs Modernism Week 2014 schedule includes architectural bus tours, films, lectures and even several tiki-related events. Here’s a heads-up so you don’t miss out!
Thursday – February 13, 8 p.m.-11 p.m.
Modern Mambo! Modernism Week After Dark Opening Night
Caliente Tropics, Palm Springs
The kick-off party for Modernism Week will take place at the tiki-themed motel Caliente Tropics. It will be turned into a poolside “mid-century modern mambo club” with tropical cocktails, live entertainment and DJs spinning mambo music, naturally.
Sunday – February 16, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Royal Hawaiian Estates Self-Guided Tour
S. Palm Canyon Drive, at E. Twin Palms Drive, Palm Springs
We had a great time last year exploring the Royal Hawaiian Estates, a Polynesian-influenced condo development constructed in 1959 and 1960. The exterior features many unique elements designed by architects Donald Wexler and Richard Harrison, and several residents graciously open up their vintage-styled homes to the visitors on this self-guided tour. Thanks to the funds raised during last year’s Modernism week, the restoration of all 40 “tiki apexes” has been completed so the Royal Hawaiian Estates will be looking better than ever.
Sunday – February 16, 5 p.m.-7 p.m.
Jet Set Style Fashion Show
Horizon Ballroom, Hilton Hotel
“Tiki-style resort clothing” will take to the runway along with vintage evening wear and cocktail dresses from the 1950s and ‘60s at the Jet Set Style Fashion Show. (I’m guessing there’ll be some primo tapa print pieces like in the photo above from last year’s show.)
Monday – February 17, 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
Tiki Modern: Style for the Sophisticated Savage
Horizon Ballroom, Hilton Hotel
Of course, the event I’m looking forward to the most is “Tiki Modern: Style for the Sophisticated Savage.” Sven Kirsten, the author of “The Book of Tiki” and “Tiki Modern” will present a lecture on how “primitive” Oceanic and African art influenced 20th-century avant-garde art and modernist design.
Friday – February 21, 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
Mid-Century in Honolulu – Aloha From a Mid-Century Paradise on The Verge of Change
Annenberg Theater, Palm Springs Art Museum
Palm Springs has in recent years made a considerable effort to preserve its mid-century modern history, but Honolulu seems more likely to bring out the bulldozers. Modernism designer Brad Dunning will give a presentation of photos highlighting iconic buildings and endangered architectural gems. (This is a particularly timely topic with the imminent demolition of the International Market Place in Honolulu, which was founded by Don the Beachcomber in 1956.)
Saturday, February 22–Sunday, February 23, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Vintage Travel Trailer Show
Adults $15, Students $10, Children 12 & under Free
Hilton Hotel, Parking Lot
Restoring a travel trailer is a labor of love and the people that do it often put their own personal stamp on the finished product. At the Vintage Travel Trailer Show, you stand a decent chance of something tiki among the retro furnishings.
Check out the Modernism Week web site for more information and to buy tickets for these events and more.
And if all those things weren’t enough of a draw, the new Tonga Hut Palm Springs will be open by then!
Tiki Guide to Palm Springs
Previous Palm Springs Modernism Week Events