Palm Springs Modern: Houses in the California Desertby Adele Cygelman, photographs by David Glomb
Rizzoli, 192 pp., $50
The rich and fabulous -- entertainers, entrepreneurs, or anyone else well moneyed -- have escaped to the desert oasis of Palm Springs since the 1930s. With them came the need for vacation homes, and due to their deep pockets they could build just about whatever they wanted. And they did. Starting in the 1940s, the modernist aesthetic supplanted the Spanish colonial persona, and architects such as Richard Neutra, A. Quincey Jones, Albert Frey, and E. Stewart Williams were commissioned by Palm Springs' elite to create "one of the most important concentrations of modernist architecture in the world." Sumptuous photos of these modernist homes (including Frank Sinatra's) fill Palm Springs Modern, which is a true treat for those who relish the eccentricity, sleekness, and odd beauty of modern architecture. The pleasures are not only visual, but intellectual as well, for Adele Cygelman's text nicely complements the eye candy inside.