Palm Springs Modernism Week is celebrating John Lautner this year, by dedicating a sidewalk star to him and offering several other Lautner-related events. Most of the events take place on Friday, February 17, 2017, the day after Modernism Week officially begins. Here is your itinerary, should you choose to attend:
Begin with The Visionary John Lautner, a lecture by Alan Hess at the Annenberg Theatre inside the Palm Springs Art Museum. The lecture is from 10 – 11 am; tickets are $12 each.
Appropriately following at 11:30 in the same place is Arthur Elrod = Diamonds are Forever, a lecture by Adele Cygelman. Cygelman will demonstrate that Elrod in his own right was a designer of lasting value. The event ends at 12:30; tickets are $12 each.
Next on what has informally become known as “Lautner Day” is the dedication of the star. The star will be inset in Palm Canyon Drive outside the Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center. There will be brief presentations by special guests and light refreshments afterwards. The event is free and there are no reservations.
The star was one of the goals of Karol Lautner Peterson, who headed The John Lautner Foundation from its inception in 1995 to her death in August 2015. We of the Foundation Board are especially pleased that the architecture and preservation groups in Palm Springs worked so hard to make it happen.
The final event of Lautner Day is the screening of Bette Cohen’s wonderful documentary, The Spirit in Architecture: John Lautner, at the Annenberg Theatre at 4:30 – 6:00 pm. Tickets are $10 each. The film is the 25th anniversary edition, newly updated and remastered from the original 1991 film by Bette Cohen. The screening is dedicated to Bette, who died in October 2016. Bette’s co-producer, Evelyn Wendel, will introduce the film. (See an account of the making of the original film, written by Cohen.)
While this list of events completes Lautner Day, there is still more.
On Sunday, February 19, Hotel Lautner will offer tours of the remodelled Desert Hot Springs Motel at 10 am, 11:15 am, and 12:30 pm. Visitors will be able to tour two of the units. Tickets are $50 each, a portion of which will be donated to the John Lautner Foundation. Members of the Foundation Board of Directors and volunteers will be at a table at the event, offering DVDs of Infinite Space and Tributes for sale and answering questions about Lautner’s work.
That night is a party with a purpose: Hotel Lautner – A Night for Preservation. Hotel owners Tracy Beckmann and Ryan Trowbridge will host another tour of the hotel and will introduce founders Ron Woodson and Jaime Rummerfield of Save Iconic Architecture (SIA). Proceeds will benefit SIA. Tickets are $125 each, 21-and-over only.
And finally, on Wednesday, February 22, Tracy Beckmann, co-owner of Hotel Lautner, will present what she has learned from renovating the Desert Hot Springs Motel (original name). Beckmann will speak at the Palm Springs Woman’s Club from 3-4 pm. The event is free but reservations are recommended.
Other lectures and tours include mention of Lautner, including, among others, some of the bus tours, California Modernism, and Claremont Modern.
Modernism Week has become a popular more-than-a-week event and some activities sell out early. Get your tickets now!