Palm Springs Modernism Week set to begin 11-day run today

Event set to feature tours, lectures and showcases, also a new set of nighttime events dubbed ``Modernism Week After Dark''

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - The 11-day Modernism Week design festival will get underway in the Palm Springs area today.

Along with tours, lectures and showcases, a new set of nighttime events dubbed ``Modernism Week After Dark'' will be held this year. Modernism Week runs through Feb. 23 and will be co-produced this year by Goldenvoice, promoter of the Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals.

Modernism Week celebrates the popular design aesthetic from the 1950s and '60s.

Events will include:

   -- Nightly: ``Illuminated Modern.'' About 20 mid-century and modern buildings will be lighted along Palm Canyon Drive.

   -- Tonight: ``Modern Mambo! Modernism Week After Dark Opening Night.'' 

The Caliente Tropics hotel, built in 1964 and the original home of the Congo Room in Palm Springs, will host a dance party at 8 p.m.

   -- Friday: Modernism Show preview reception at 6 p.m. Attendees can get a ``sneak peek'' at the 14th annual show -- which includes vintage mid-century furniture, art, clothing, jewelry and decor -- before it opens to the public at the Palm Springs Convention Center Saturday. The ticket includes wine and appetizers, valet parking and free daily weekend admission to the show. 

Proceeds benefit Modernism Week's scholarship, educational, and community grant programs.

   -- Friday: Palm Springs architect Hugh Kaptur will receive a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars at Baristo Road and Palm Canyon Drive, outside the soon-to-open Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center, at 2 p.m. A documentary about him, ``Quiet Elegance -- The Architecture of Hugh M. Kaptur,'' will premiere Feb. 17 at the Hilton in Palm Springs, followed by a question-and-answer session with Kaptur. 

On Feb. 21, Modernism Week attendees can tour some residences Kaptur designed in the Palm Springs area, and the festival will produce a limited number of prints of Kaptur's rare, original 1960s renderings, which will be available for purchase.

   -- Friday-Feb. 23: Dinner shows at the Purple Room. The recently re-opened supper club, which first opened in 1960, will host live music acts from around the country.

   -- Saturday: ``Mod Eats with Kurt Cyr.'' Palm Springs designer Cyr will guide attendees in making mid-century-themed appetizers in the test kitchen of ``Iron Chef'' Jose Garces at The Saguaro hotel. Participants get cocktails and a signed copy of one of Cyr's books.

   -- Feb. 23: ``Trina Turk and Sunnylands Chic'' lecture and reception. 

Fashion designer Trina Turk will speak at the Rancho Mirage Public Library about the lifestyle of Walter and Leonore Annenberg and how it is reflected though design at the Annenberg estate at Sunnylands. A cocktail reception with Turk will follow at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage.

Tours of Sunnylands will resume Tuesday for people who bought tickets offered during Modernism Week, and Sunnylands is working with Modernism Week to refund tickets purchased for tours scheduled during President Obama's visit to Sunnylands this weekend. Obama will meet with Jordanian King Abdullah II at Sunnylands Friday.

For information and tickets, go to http://www.modernismweek.com.

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