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'Palm Springs: A Modernist Paradise': A love letter to modernism

'Palm Springs: A Modernist Paradise': A love letter to modernism
Cover of the new book, "Palm Springs: A Modernist Paradise." (Tim Street-Porter)

In his new book, "Palm Springs: A Modernist Paradise," photographer Tim Street-Porter captures the optimism, architecture and midcentury style that defines one of Southern California's most glamorous playgrounds.

Featuring a foreword by Los Angeles fashion designer Trina Turk, whose Palm Springs home, the Ship of the Desert, is also showcased, the inspiring coffee table tome is a love letter to modernism. "When I do a project like this," said Street-Porter, "there is a kind of romance with what I'm working on, because you immerse yourself… I wanted to show what I love about the place, and I hope to pass that on."

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"Palm Springs: A Modernist Paradise"
"Palm Springs: A Modernist Paradise" (Tim Street-Porter)

Artfully conceived photos illuminate the work of architects such as Richard Neutra, Albert Frey and Paul Williams. However, for modernist buffs who think they've seen it all, Street-Porter is excited to prove them wrong.

"Apart from featuring a few classics… like the Kaufmann House, I wanted to introduce some unexpected and amusing new stuff as well," said the author, who also incorporated a resource section for modernist furnishing stores and like-minded points of interest. "I was lucky to find houses which aren't the same old chestnuts that have appeared in earlier books."

"Palm Springs: A Modernist Paradise"
"Palm Springs: A Modernist Paradise" (Tim Street-Porter)

He credits a friend and Los Angeles neighbor, interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard, whose 1964 showplace Villa Grigio graces the cover, with helping him discover the area's hidden gems.

Both Bullard and Street-Porter are scheduled to take part in a moderated panel discussion and book signing on Feb. 17 at Palm Springs Modernism Week .

"I'm very thrilled with how it's all working out," said Street-Porter. "The organizers for Modernism Week who I showed my photographs to were really enthusiastic and are making the book as much a part of the events as possible."

Modernism Week Keynote presentation and panel: Martyn Lawrence Bullard and "Palm Springs: A Modernist Paradise"

When: 3 to 4:30 p.m. Feb. 17

Where: Richards Center for the Arts, Palm Springs High School, 2248 Ramon Road, Palm Springs

Cost: Starting at $20

Bonnie McCarthy contributes to the Los Angeles Times as a home and lifestyle design writer. She enjoys scouting for directional trends and reporting on what's new and next. Follow her on Twitter @ThsAmericanHome

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