Please enable JavaScript to use this site.
featured photo

The Birth of Modernism: Irving Gill in California

Meet the Modern Master–Irving Gill of San Diego. Architect and historian Alan Hess reveals how Gill perfected the architecture of simplicity before the Bauhaus, and set the template for Modernism.

$18 (1 hr)

Category: Presentation, Talk, Annenberg Theater

Photo Gallery
gallery photo
gallery photo
gallery photo
gallery photo
gallery photo
gallery photo

Meet the Modern Master you’ve probably never known: Irving J. Gill. On the sunny shores of San Diego around 1900 Irving Gill perfected the architecture of simplicity that’s defined Modernism ever since.

Alan Hess, architect, historian and author of twenty-one books on Modern architecture, will reveal how Gill experimented with the latest construction technologies to inspire designs for the casual indoor-outdoor life Californians desired. Gill set the template of Modernism long before the Bauhaus was founded.

Gill learned Modernism from the greatest, Louis Sullivan, in the heyday of the Chicago School, then settled in San Diego before the turn of the 20th century to explore his own directions. There and in Los Angeles he pointed the way for Rudolph Schindler, Richard Neutra, and Lloyd Wright, the younger generation who learned from his innovations in concrete and form.

Gill’s 1914 Dodge House (his masterpiece within easy sight of Schindler’s own innovative Kings Road home) achieved a pinnacle in balancing cubic forms and daring asymmetric composition. His multi-family Horatio West Court in Santa Monica led the way with multi-residential designs that are relevant today.

Yet Gill has been a prophet largely without honor in his own country. Most historians failed to give Gill credit for his originality. He and San Diego Modernism have for too long been hidden in the shadows. It’s time for Irving Gill to take his rightful place alongside the revered early Masters.


Things to Know
Ages 12 and older.

The entrance to the Annenberg Theater is located behind the Annenberg Theater Box Office, adjacent to the Palm Springs Art Museum's North Parking Lot.
Ample free public parking is available in the multi-level public garage across from the Palm Springs Art Museum.
Handicap parking is available.
This event is wheelchair accessible.
The organizer of this event is Modernism Week.

Event Check-in Location
Annenberg Theater

Palm Springs Art Museum
101 N Museum Dr
Palm Springs, CA 92262
View Map

Photo Credits: Marvin Rand, Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs – Architectural Drawing Collection, University of California at Santa Barbara – UCSB Irving Gill archives – Creative Commons – Margaret Bach.

Order Summary
No items available.