Tucson, Arizona – In the second half of the twentieth century, American optimism was expressed in a new style of architecture and design that departed from the classical traditions and values of pre World War II. Modernism embraced new ideas, bold colors and honesty of materials such as concrete, chrome and plywood. Modernism embodied the future, setting a new path for America.
Tucson’s first Modernism Week will take place November 9 – 11, and will feature an impressive series of events including films, lectures, entertainment, parties, pop-up shops, a classic car display and a home tour. Most of the events are free and open to the public.
“Modernism Week is an incredible opportunity for the Tucson community to learn about the impact and significance of this the Modern Design movement following World War II,” said preservationist and president of the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation, Demion Clinco.
In southern Arizona the movement has come to be known as Desert Modern, which is defined by the use of regional materials, adaptation to the desert climate with an emphasis on indoor/outdoor living.
“This is a celebration of Tucson’s history,” said co-founder and landscape designer Elizabeth Przygoda-Montgomery. “I am so excited for this event and look forward to watching it grow each and every year.”
Broadway Boulevard’s exemplary architecture is under threat by the proposed roadway widening. Modernism Week will provide everyone the opportunity to explore these unique buildings, designed by many of Tucson’s iconic and celebrated mid-century architects.
Tucson Modernism Week is a project of the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation with support from Pima Community College. Tucson Modernism Week is led by Demion Clinco and Elizabeth Przygoda-Montgomery with contributions from Michelle Hotchkiss, Darren Clark, Gary Patch, Alex Mastrangelo, Jennifer Powers, Thom Sherwood, Andie Zelnio, Suzy Gerschman, Carlos Lozano, Julie Ray, and Carrie Dally. Mr. Clinco is serves as President of Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation, is CEO of Frontier Consulting Group LLC, an Arizona firm involved in historic preservation projects. He also serves on the Tucson-Pima County Historic Commission. Ms. Przygoda-Montgomery is an award-winning landscape designer and founder of Boxhill Design. Her work has been featured in Sunset, Luxe, Phoenix Home and Gardens, among others. Elizabeth’s recent awards include International Design Merit Award, ALCA Best Residential Design Award and APLD International Design Award. Darren Clark is a landscape and interior designer for Patch & Clark Design. Gary Patch is a graphics and interior designer and co-founder of Patch & Clark Design.
For more information, visit www.tucsonmod.com
Schedule of Events:
All events are hosted in Mid-Century Modern Buildings along the Broadway corridor.
Friday, November 9, 2012
Conversation with Anne Rysdale. Born and raised in Tucson, Rysdale graduated with a degree in Fine Arts and Engineering from the University of Arizona in 1940 and studied architecture at the University of Washington as the U of A did not yet offer an architecture degree. The only registered practicing female architect in the entire state of Arizona from 1949 into the early 1960s, her commercial buildings include Sun Building on Speedway Boulevard, Tucson Inn on Drachman, and The Shelter on Grant Road. Anne also designed dozens of homes in Winterhaven, Colonia Solana and El Encanto. From 5:00 to 6:00 pm at Temple Emanu-El Auditorium, 225 N. Country Club Road. Free and open to the public.
Opening Reception – Chase Bank (Country Club and Broadway Blvd). Designed in 1971 by Bernie Friedman and John Whitmire of Friedman & Jobusch Architects for Valley National Bank, it represents one of Tucson’s great mid-century modern buildings. From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at 3033 E. Broadway (at Country Club). Free, reservation required at www.tucsonmod.com and click on Tickets.
Charles Phoenix, Ambassador of Americana, brings his Retro Slide Show featuring hilarious commentary on kitschy Eisenhower-era USA. Many are familiar with Phoenix from his television appearances including Conan O’Brien and Martha Stewart, sharing retro-inspired culinary creations such as the Astro-Weenie Christmas Tree. From 8:30 to 10:00 at the Lutheran Church, 115 N. Tucson Blvd. Cost is $25 per person, Tickets available at www.tucsonmod.com.
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Yoga Modern – Experience modern architecture from a new perspective.Take an early morning yoga class at the historic Mettler Dance Studio designed in 1963 by Taliesin Fellow John Howe, assistant to Frank Lloyd Wright. Commissioned by modern dance instruction pioneer Barbara Mettler, the building is now home to Yoga Flow. From 8:00 to 10:30 a.m. at 3131 N. Cherry Avenue (Cherry and Fort Lowell Road). The cost is $10.00 (pay on arrival)
Pop-up Shop and Expo – Pop Up Shop and Expo – Vendors from Tucson and Phoenix will be selling period and new mid-century modern, furniture and home goods Saturday from 10 am to 7 pm and Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm. It will be held at 2930 E Broadway, the former Table Talk Building in Broadway Village, designed by Wørner Bas. Free and open to the public
Modern Tide: Midcentury Architecture on Long Island (Film) explores the work of the region’s best postwar architects and designers, including Albert Frey, Wallace Harrison, Herbert Beckhard, Frank Lloyd Wright, Horace Gifford, Edward Durrell Stone, Marcel Breuer, Andrew Geller, Philip Johnson, Charles Gwathmey, Barbara and Julian Neski, and others. From 10:30 am to 12:00 pm at the Lutheran Church, 115 N. Tucson Blvd. Cost is $10.00 per person,Tickets available at www.tucsonmod.com.
Modernism of the Broadway Corridor (Lecture) – Chris Evans, president of the Modern Architecture Preservation Project of Tucson will discuss the architectural highlights of a self-guided tour along the spine of Tucson’s mid-20th century eastward expansion. A tour map will be available at the lecture and at www.tucsonmod.com. From 12:00 to 12:45 pm at the Lutheran Church, 115 N. Tucson Blvd. Free and open to the public.
The Forties Necktie: An Expression of American Modernism (Lecture) – Ron Spark, M.D., author of Fit-to Be Tied: Vintage Ties of the Forties and Early Fifties, has lectured and curator of museum shows on the great 40’s cravat as part of his interest in American Popular Culture. Dr. Spark will discuss the significance of WWII on American neckwear designers. From 12:00 to 12:45 pm at 2930 E. Broadway (former Table Talk location in Broadway Village). Free and open to the public.
People in Glass Houses: Joseph Eichler (Film) – A documentary explores the impact and design of California Architect Joseph Eichler. Eichler homes and communities were founded on the principals of equality, innovation, simplicity and the American Dream. From 1:00 to 2:00 pm at the Lutheran Church, 115 N. Tucson Blvd. Free and open to the public.
Sign-O-Rama: Reading Mid-Century Neon (Lecture) – Carlos Lozano, founder of VanishingTucson.com, an interactive website with over 1,000 members will discuss major trends in Mid-Century sign design by examining dozens of beautiful vintage images of Tucson neon. Carlos studied neon glassblowing and illuminated sculpture at The Crucible in Oakland, CA. From 1:00 to 1:45 pm at 2930 E. Broadway (former Table Talk location in Broadway Village). Free and open to the public.
Coast Modern (Film) –This independent documentary by directors Mike Bernard and Gavin Froome travels along the Pacific Northwest coast line from Los Angeles to Vancouver, showcasing the pioneers of West Coast Modernist architecture. Coast Modern had its world premiere at Vancouver’s Doxa Festival in May 2012, to great acclaim and a subsequent sell-out second screening. From 2:00 to 3:00 pm at the Lutheran Church, 115 N. Tucson Blvd. Cost is $10.00 per person, Tickets available at www.tucsonmod.com.
Tom Gist: One of a Kind, a Tucson Modernist (Lecture) – Michael Fassett examines designer Tom Gist’s life, illustrated with images of period ephemera, architectural drawings, archival and current images of his work. Michael serves on the Board of Directors of the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation and is currently renovating and restoring his Tucson home designed by Tom Gist. From 2:00 to 2:45 pm at the Lutheran Church, 115 N. Tucson Blvd. Free and open to the public.
A Modernist Perspective on Colonial Architecture – The Tucson Work of Juan Wørner y Baz (Lecture) – Jennifer Levstik, M.A. will focus on the Tucson work of this renowned Mexican architect and how he adapted Mexican modernism for Tucson’s environment. Jennifer serves as Secretary of the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation. The presentation will be followed by a discussion session about on-going preservation and challenges to protecting local Wørner Baz-designed buildings. From 2:00 to 2:45 pm at 2930 E. Broadway (former Table Talk location in Broadway Village). Free and open to the public.
Scandinavian, Danish Modernism (Lecture) – Mark Mussari will focus on the rise, fall and rise of Danish Modern and on the development of a Nordic organic modernism in response to the more industrial currents out of the Bauhaus. Mussari holds a Ph.D. in Scandinavian Studies from the University of Washington. From 3:00 to 3:30 pm at 2930 E. Broadway (former Table Talk location in Broadway Village). Free and open to the public.
Design Revolution: Feeding the American Dream (Lecture) – Andie Zelnio discusses how the golden age of mid-century modern furniture design was driven by the overlapping economic and social themes of the post-war period leading to an unprecedented consumer boom. Using examples of iconic designs, she will describe the sculptural and spatial characteristics that typify the period. Zelnio has nearly 30 years of experience in the fields of exhibition design, graphic design, architecture and interior design. From 3:30 to 4:00 pm at 2930 E. Broadway (former Table Talk location in Broadway Village). Free and open to the public.
The American Automobile: Two Designers, Two Stories (Lecture& Exhibit) – The works of Dave Cummins and Jim Ewen have rarely been seen by the general public and will be presented as a conversation and exhibition followed by a reception.
Jim Ewen began his career at General Motors in Detroit in 1957. He worked on MOTORAMA show cars under the guidance of GM’s famous VP of styling, Harley Earl, during this period, then advanced to Research Studio where the futuristic “Firebird Cars of Tomorrow” were envisioned. Ewen was promoted to Pontiac Studio with Jack Humbert, where he worked on the early Tempest and GTO models, the first Grand Prix, and many other successful models through the mid-1960s.
Dave Cummins began his career at Chrysler Corporation Styling in Detroit in 1957 which was helmed by the legendary Virgil Exner. Korean War draft duties interrupted and after serving a brief stint in the US Army’s Signal Corps, he anxiously returned to Chrysler Styling where, for the next 30 years, he rotated through nearly every design studio – both interior and exterior – at Plymouth, Dodge, Dodge Truck, DeSoto, Chrysler, and the Imperial divisions.
Exhibit Noon to 6:00 pm
Conversation and reception from 4:00 to 6:00 pm at 2901 E. Broadway Blvd. (across the street from Broadway Village). Free and open to the public.
Cocktail Party – Socialize with fellow modernism enthusiasts in a private setting featuring hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and music. This is a rare opportunity to experience a fabulous, architecturally significant, mid-century modern residence. From 6:30 to 9:30 pm. Cost is $75.00 per person. All proceeds support the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation and Tucson Modernism Week. Tickets available at: www.tucsonmod.com.
Sunday, November 11, 2012
Home Tour – Four mid-century modern homes will be featured on the self-guided tour. From 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. Cost is $25.00 per person.
Eckbo Landscape Tour – Join Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation for an historic walking tour exploring the Tucson Community Center Landscape designed by internationally renowned modern landscape architect Garrett Eckbo. Led by preservation advocate Helen Erickson, the tour will investigate the events leading to the development of the landscape focusing on Eckbo’s design philosophy, form and massing. The walk will start at the fountains in front of TCC Music Hall. From 10:00 to 11:30 am. Tour is limited to 25. Free, reservation required at www.tucsonmod.com and click on Tickets.
The American Automobile: Two Designers, Two Stories (exhibit)
The work of American Automobile designers Dave Cummins and Jim Ewen have rarely been seen by the general public and will be presented from 10:00 to 4:00 pm. Located at 2901 E. Broadway Blvd. (across the street from Broadway Village). Free and open to the public.
Pop-up Shop and Expo – Vendors will be exhibiting mid-century modern furniture, design, and home services from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at 2930 E. Broadway (former Table Talk location in Broadway Village). Free and open to the public, Tickets available at www.tucsonmod.com.