Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Modernism Week

Ship of the Desert

Back to Palm Springs again—this time for the start of Modernism Week, the annual celebration of everything “mid-century.”  Though we would love to stay the entire week, life and our pocketbooks prohibit it, so instead we always jam as much modernism as we can into a weekend. 

This year, our activities included a new Charles Phoenix retro slide show, “Pools, Patios, and BBQs,” nicely complementing the Palm Springs Art Museum’s fabulous exhibit “Backyard Oasis: the Swimming Pool in Southern California Photography, 1945-1982,” for which Charles also provided a curated collection of swimming pool slides.  The exhibit and Charles’s show are both highly recommended. 

Following the slide show, we toured the Davidson Residence, known affectionately as the “Ship of the Desert” because of its streamline moderne architectural style.  Built on a buff overlooking the valley in 1936, the house was one of the first Palm Springs homes to embrace modernism and was featured in both Arts + Architecture and Sunset magazines.  Today the house is owned by fashionista Trina Turk, whose mod style is definitely reflected in its furnishings.  The tour was a high point of the weekend.

Living room

Master bedroom

We next popped in to one of our favorite artists Shag’s gallery for a quick peak at his latest work.  Amazingly, I resisted all temptation to buy a print one of the pieces he created in 2005 in honor of Disneyland’s 50th anniversary.

We also managed to take in two Oscar-nominated movies at the funky old Camelot theater: The Iron Lady, starring Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher, and My Week With Marilyn, about a young man’s brief relationship with Marilyn Monroe.  Thank goodness we’re not members of the Academy because I would have a hard time selecting a “best actress” performance this year.

Finally, there was the food.  Late lunch on Saturday was at LuLu, a hip new “California bistro” that occupies the former site of the kitschy old Copykatz female impersonators’ nightclub.  The food at LuLu is good, but the people-watching is even better, especially if you can snag a table along the sidewalk—prime Palm Springs real estate!  And, of course, no trip to the desert would be complete without a meal at Sherman’s deli, a Palm Springs staple since 1953. 

Outdoor dining at Sherman's

After wolfing down breakfast, we made a couple more gallery stops—and again resisted all temptation to buy!—before heading back to L.A.

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