Vintage cars and mid-century furnishings rev things up at Palm Springs Modernism Week

Photos from the 50s and 60s might be in black and white, but judging from the colors seen during two of today’s Modernism Week events in Palm Springs, the mid-century was bursting with color and shine.

“They don’t make ’em like they used to.” No where was that more apparent than at the Vintage Car Show located outside the Palm Springs Convention Center. It was a sight of brilliant colors, shiny chrome, and decadent lines and curves. These are the cars of an era long gone, of free-wheeling creativity. They don’t make ’em like that anymore.

Lincoln Continental convertible.

Somewhere inside of me is a prolonged sigh–not for a past that wasn’t as good to some as it was to others–but for that kind of open-ended creativity and an “anything’s possible” attitude that created these kinds of cars.

Looooong daddy-oh. Looks like something Batman would drive.

When I look at cars today, I see only hints of the passion and flair of yesterday’s four-wheeled marvels. Where did it go? Maybe with all the rules and regulations about what a car must be today, there’s not room for that kind of passion in the car industry. Or maybe we’re just waiting for that next generation to come along and burst the seams of what we thought was possible.

All about the chrome, color, and massive hood ornaments.
Vintage Car Show at the Palm Springs Convention Center. Photo by Michael Dryja
Cherry red convertible Studebaker. Photo by Michael Dryja.
Chrysler New Yorker: Long, lean, and shark-like with its gills and fins. Gorgeous.
Inside the Chrysler New Yorker.
1959 Desoto.
Built in a time when kids were seen and not heard, ash trays dominated the back seats instead of video screens.

Outside the Convention Center the cars seduced with their chrome bumpers, curvaceous lines, and statuesque hood ornaments. Inside the Convention Center there was plenty to salivate over as well, thanks to the 12th Annual Palm Springs Modernism Show. All parts of a Modernist home were represented in warm shades of lacquered wood, blue vinyl, polished metals, and sparkly glass. Primary colors danced on metal orbs, rods, and squares. They saturated vinyl couches, were splashed across canvases, and were woven into fabrics.

Love this blue vinyl couch with built-in coffee and end tables. How about those fluffy, furry white pillows?
Large, colorful jacks decorated a glass fireplace surround.
Grouping of Transmission Tower Replicas at Christopher Anthony Ltd. in Palm Springs.
Not sure what material was used to house this radio. Stained wood? Melamine? It is marbled and unique.
Honeycomb bookshelves.
Colorful lamps that look like nuns bowed in prayer.
Simple, colorful, elegant clocks.

For more photos, check out the slideshow from both events:

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