Modernism Week is the largest celebration of midcentury and modern architecture, design and culture. It started out as a collaborative, grass-roots community effort comprised of a few home tours, cocktail mixers and educational events that were planned to coincide with the Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale occurring in Palm Springs each February since 2000.

Modernism Week has now grown into an internationally-acclaimed annual event that spans 11 days; and has spawned a shorter October version called “Modernism Week Fall Preview.” Both events include home tours, lectures, films, double-decker bus architectural tours, vintage themed parties and more. More than 10,000 attendees participated in Fall Preview and in 2019 more than 152,000 attendees enjoyed the more than 375 Modernism Week events generating an estimated economic impact of $57 million for area hotels, shops, restaurants, and other local businesses from Palm Springs to Indian Wells and beyond.

In 2005, following the success of both the Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale and the annual symposium organized by the Palm Springs Art Museum’s Architecture and Design Council, a group of local design and architecture aficionados created a committee to produce Modernism Week’s first events in February 2006 to showcase the world-renowned midcentury modern architecture of Palm Springs.

Each year the demand for additional programing increased and the founding partner organizations expanded their offerings. By 2009, programming was offered on two weekends. Eventually mid-week programming was introduced, and the event continued to grow progressively in scope and attendance until it reached its current schedule of 11 days and hundreds of events.

In 2009 Modernism Week became a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The organization has established an annual Scholarship Program for local high school seniors pursuing college educations in the fields of architecture and design and continues to provide financial support to local and state preservation organizations and neighborhood groups in their efforts to preserve modernist architecture throughout the state of California. In 2019, more than $1.87 million was raised by partner organizations that produced Modernism Week events. This money was either gifted to other nonprofit charitable organizations or reinvested back into the city for civic improvements.

In 2019, Modernism Week attendees came from all 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, with California accounting for the majority of attendees (54.8%). Modernism Week attendees came from 384 of 482 cities in California, or 80% of all Californian cities. Locally, the Coachella Valley represented 33% of tickets sold in California. In addition to many California visitors, the event was popular with attendees from the Pacific Northwest, Chicago, and New York.  Attendees came from all across the globe with twenty five countries represented including Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Germany, New Zealand, France and even as far away as Armenia and India.

Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale

The Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale is one of the premier events of Modernism Week. Now celebrating its 20th year, the event features 90 exhibitors from across North America and Europe who present vintage modern furniture, decorative and fine arts. It was first introduced in 2000 with premier national and international decorative and fine arts dealers with items representing all design movements of the 20th Century and select 21st century items. In 2006, when Modernism Week was first introduced, more than 50 dealers participated in the sale. Each year, the Show & Sale grew in scope. In 2019, the amount of dealers had reached 90, a record for the company. The Show & Sale also offers a Fall Edition of the show concurrently with Fall Preview. First introduced in 2013, approximately 40 dealers participate in this three-day show.

In 2017 the event producer launched a companion show called Modern Design Expo which runs concurrent with the Show & Sale and features 40 dealers that offer contemporary cutting-edge home design products and technology. For more information go to

For a look at Modernism Week by the numbers, click here. 




Image Sources

  • Modernism on display: O'Bayley Communications