Modernism Week Discovery: Walter S White

73271 Buckboard Trail, Palm Desert Photo George Gutenberg

Walter S White – Modernism Week Discoveries As we suit up for MW 2017 to learn more about this genre, it might be good to recall that we’ve learned a lot in the past. One such discovery at MW 2016 was the little-known Mid-Century Modern architect Walter S White who did memorable structures from Palm Springs to Indio, as well as work in Colorado and Los Angeles. He was first introduced to us in a blog by Professor Volker M. Welter, in 2015, who later did a lecture on the architect at MW 2016. Photo by George Gutenberg Professor Welter also authored “Projects and Inventions in Architecture”, published by the Art, Design and Architecture, UCSB.  This book provides a thorough review of his work and working life with details, background, drawings, locations and photographs. It can be ordered here. Thus the architect has been moved from being little known to well recognized. The […]

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PST! There’s Still Time to Experience Pacific Standard Time: Modern Architecture

  Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A., a scaled down sequel to the first Getty initiative in 2011, is underway in Los Angeles and environs.  The current initiative celebrates Southern California’s immense impact on modern architecture with exhibitions and programs by 17 cultural institutions now through July, 2013. Events are scattered across the city from construction sites to the Schindler House, and from Pasadena to Santa Barbara. Just opened May 9, Everything Loose will Land, an installment at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House, makes light of Frank Lloyd Wright’s infamous dig: “Tip the world over on its side and everything loose will land in Los Angeles.”  In the 1970s, boundaries between L.A.  artists and architects blurred, leading to unprecedented collaborations and innovations. Function and form ceased to be distinct in this exhibit that unites PST’s emphasis on architecture and visual design. In […]

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The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands Is a Time Capsule of Past and Future

  Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage was the winter home of former US Ambassadors, entrepreneurs and philanthropists Walter and Lenore Annenberg. Designed by iconic Southern California architect A. Quincy Jones, the 22,500 square foot Mid Century Modern home, completed in 1966, served as an unofficial center for world leaders, US presidents, politicians and celebrities, who were frequent guests of the Annenbergs for more than 40 years. Situated in the middle of 200 acres of landscaped grounds and a private golf course, all surrounded by pink block walls, anticipation of seeing the magnificent Aztec-inspired glass and stone estate builds as you drive up the winding road to the summit. There, an artistic fountain centers a circular drive up to the home’s entrance. Imagine the limousines and Rolls Royces pulled up for the likes of Queen Elizabeth, Prince Phillip, the shah of Iran’s mother and sister, Japan’s prime minister, and every US President […]

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Mid Century Design Continues to Influence Today’s Art and Fashion

The Galen

Art and fashion of the 1960s continues to deeply influence today’s art trends. Recent events and exhibits at the Palm Springs Art Museum underscore that influence when a 60s-themed opening party topped more than 800 guests for The Galen and Faye Sarkowsky Sculpture Garden in Palm Desert. Images from the 60’s themed party are on the museum’s web site at www.psmuseum.org Make it Work: Material Matters in Art and Design And, a major Art and Design exhibit, Make it Work: Material Matters in Art and Design, now at The Galen through January 20, 2013, explores the relationship between materials and forms in the creative process by juxtaposing a range of dynamic art and design objects from the 1960s to the present. Whimsical contemporary fashion designs are featured alongside a selection of significant modern and contemporary art by Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, Louise Bourgeois, and Yoshitomo Nara, among others. […]

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Celebrating the Masters: Architecture and Design Center, Edwards Harris Pavilion

Ever since the Palm Springs Art Museum acquired the former Santa Fe Federal Savings and Loan building on Palm Canyon Drive last June, and announced plans to transform the bank into an architecture and design museum, a ground swell of support has been growing.  The concept has also garnered considerable national and media attention. The museum is currently raising funds for the rehabilitation of the Class 1 Historic modern building, to create a first-in-the-county free-standing architectural museum, housed in a modernist building and owned by a museum. To date, a Founders Group of some 30 prestigious leaders and entrepreneurs have signed on.  The museum is seeking at least 100 founding members, each pledging a $25K commitment payable over three years. www.psmuseum.org Designed by renowned Mid-Century Modern architect E. Stewart Williams, this new annex of the museum will be devoted to architecture and design exhibitions, programs, archive study space and will […]

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Desert Modernism Reflected in Architect Reuel Young’s Design of Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert

The Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert formally opened to the public March 15, bringing not only a new level of art and culture to the mid- and east valley, but ties architecturally with Palm Springs’ Mid Century Modern roots. The 8,400 square foot building located at Entrada del Paseo, corner of Highway 111 and El Paseo, was formerly the city visitor’s center, designed by acclaimed desert architect Reuel Young. Built in 2005, Young captures the motifs inherent in Desert Modernism such as its Albert Frey-like sharp winged roof shading an upper terrace and entrance below. From its essentially a circular shape are angled walls that fan out with floor to ceiling glass that offer full views of the outdoors. The building is carefully situated on the site with reference to the sun’s seasonal positions.  Windows and doorway are shaded by metal overhangs or, depending on the time of day […]

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