Modernism Week with AGO 2/20/20

  • When: Modernism Week extends from February 13, 2020 to February 23, 2020
  • Where: CAMP Theater, 575 North Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, California
  • Why: Because…Palm Springs in February! Surrounded by like-minded, design-centric people also winter-starved for gardens, desert landscapes, and some of the best MCM residential design in the country.

Escaping to Palm Springs for Modernism Week has long been a February ritual of mine. This year the experience will be a little different — we’ve been invited to give a talk on all our garden design obsessions, to be held on February 20, 2020, at 9 a.m. And we’re just ambitious/foolish enough to attempt to cover a lot of ground. From the Modernism Week website:

The Backyard, a Biography

Meadows and xeriscapes have overrun the tiki bar in our new midcentury, but does the institution of the yard remain a thousand personal oases separated with cinderblock? Design is aspirational and surveys of the backyard are windows onto the dream life of Americans, our built spaces embedded with our values, reminding us who we would like to be. 

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Some of the images will be familiar to AGO readers, but we’re also dipping into image archives like the Getty Research Institute — “the focus of this talk will be a visual as well as psychological and cultural treatment of outdoor built spaces.” (Garden of Reuben Munoz)

The backyard is unexpectedly complex, political, rich with history and more American than apple pie, simultaneously built with nostalgia and ready to be the future’s laboratory. Generously illustrated with photo work from MB Maher’s own catalog of landscape projects as well as underseen images from Julius Schulman’s archive at the Getty Research Institute, the focus of this talk will be a visual as well as psychological and cultural treatment of outdoor built spaces. 

And just a head’s up that the Modernism Garden Tour sold out early, but more tickets have just been added. Check the website for current availability of all the tours. We’re so excited to catch up with y0u in Palm Springs this February!

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8 Responses to Modernism Week with AGO 2/20/20

  1. Kris P says:

    Congratulations on your gig, Denise!

  2. Elaine says:

    Congrats on your speaking endeavour. Would love to hear a podcast or the highlights of your talk.

  3. Oh to be able to be there! I do like Elaine’s idea of a podcast/recording. Although it wouldn’t be the same without visuals. Yay for you getting out there and making it happen.

  4. Clare says:

    Looking forward to hearing you speak! Mod Week is always such a great event.

  5. hb says:

    Congrats on your talk! It will be fabulous.

  6. Jack says:

    I like!! Very nice sense of “calm”

  7. Just catching up with this post…congratulations, Denise! I would love to hear your talk and see those images. I hope you may do something similar next year, when I am attending Modernism Week for the first time!

  8. Reuben Munoz says:

    Denise — I have to say my heart caught in my throat when I saw Mitch’s photo of our former backyard here! I was talking to one of the current owners today (they’re having trouble with a large variegated agave on the property and needed some advice) and needless to say it was bittersweet. I loved that house and its garden immensely, as you know, and I’m honored that you’ll be sharing it during Modernism Week. Thank you!

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