Palm Springs October Show

Second annual fall Modernism Show & Sale brings dealers to the desert—permanently
Palm Springs October Show
The second annual fall edition of the Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale, a warm-up act to the big Modernism Week coming in February,
takes place October 9-11. Pictured here: Show exhibitor Bridges Over Time. Photo: David A. Lee Photography
Palm Springs October Show

For 14 years Ed and Betty Koren have been shipping their collectable art and furnishings from their shop in a small city on New York’s Hudson River to the desert, to take part in the Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale.

Now they’re moving to town for good, one of several out-of-town dealers who are doing or have recently done the same, according to Cindy Duffy, publicist for the event.

“After participating in the show, a few of these vendors fell in love with the area,” Duffy said in her PR plug. “Watching its growth and seeing a renewed interest in mid-century architecture and design, they made the decision to relocate their homes and businesses to Palm Springs.”

“I love this story,” adds Duffy, who lives in the desert, “because it resonates on several levels.”

The show, which began as an annual February event tied to the much larger series of events, Palm Springs Modernism Week, now happens twice a year, in the fall as well. The second annual fall show takes place October 9-11 at the Palm Springs Air Museum, 745 N. Gene Autry Trail.

It will feature some 40 dealers offering product from the mid-century to the 21st century—but “we do not allow re-strikes or re-issues of vintage designs,” the promoter Dolphin Promotions promises. There will be an opening reception, book signings, and a car show.

Ed Koren, who runs Bridges Over Time with his wife, Betty, is shifting operations from New York to Palm Springs later in the fall, planning to open a large space a few blocks from the city’s design district on Indian Canyon Drive.

“It seems to be a growing area,” Ed says of Palm Springs, “and it seems very suited to the type of thing we sell as we focus more and more on modernism and art and sculpture.”

The Korens handle “mostly contemporary art and mid-century modern. We have a lot of artists who are looking for representation,” he says, adding though that their focus is on vintage.

“Art through 1970s, ‘80s, whatever is the flavor de jour. The ‘80s and ‘90s are hot now, a lot of excellent Italian stuff is in demand,” he adds, citing some remarkable glass artwork. “There are a lot of these guys working from the ‘50s well into the ‘80s. It’s not that they’re not mid-century design guys. They are. It’s just that their style evolves.

“We have custom-designed pieces of furniture that we just don’t know who made. We get them from estate sales. Names aren’t all that important.”

Other dealers who have made the move to the desert include Matt Burkholz, who focuses on Bakelite and other vintage jewelry. He moved his Route 66 West to Palm Canyon Drive from New York. Chris Mizeski moved his Christopher Anthony Ltd. to town from Boston several years back.

Koren is looking forward to living in Palm Springs and says he’s not worried about the heat. A recent day in Newburgh had him sweating, with temperatures hitting 95 and humidity the same.

“We were [in Palm Springs] in August and it wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated. The shops use foam rubber on their door handles [to cool the otherwise burning grip]. We were fine.”

For more on the upcoming fall ’15 edition of the Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale, click here.