Architecture and Design Museum

Book Signing: Unseen Midcentury Desert Modern
Arts District Location

In 2008, Daniel Chavkin began photographing some of the more discreet and off-the-beaten-path midcentury modern homes and buildings in the Palm Springs area. These included secret gems created by such famous modernist architects as William Cody and John Porter Clark, as well as others by relatively lesser-known designers. The result is this rich photographic collection of largely unseen examples of desert modern architecture. Many of the buildings shown herein are not easily accessible by, or in some cases completely off-limits to, the general public, so the photographs in this book may be the only opportunity for midcentury aficionados to ever see some of these buildings.

Copies of Unseen Midcentury Desert Modern will be available for purchase at the event.

In 1992, Dan began his photographic career studying at the prestigious school Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. Upon graduating, Dan moved to New York City to begin his career as a professional photographer, shooting celebrity portraiture for a variety of top magazines. An avid aficionado of all things modernist, Dan began collecting mid-century modern furniture, vintage film posters, book covers & vintage periodicals as a way of feeding his passion for modernism.

Returning to Los Angeles, Dan’s photographic work consisted of human-interest stories for numerous national publications as well as advertising campaigns.

It wasn’t until the summer of 2008 that Dan discovered, upon a trip to Palm Springs, the wealth of mid-century modern architecture that exists in the same desert city he had visited numerous times as a child. Inspired by the architecture and its relation to the desert landscape, Dan shifted his photography to architecture and subsequently began photography most of the mid-century modern architecture in Palm Springs and throughout Coachella Valley. Since then, Dan has received critical acclaim for his architectural work from several the modern preservation organizations, magazine publications and modernist homeowners alike.

In 2014, Dan co-authored a book on the husband and wife midcentury modern designers Jerome & Evelyn Ackerman. Dan’s newly released book, Unseen Midcentury Desert Modern is a photographic survey of hidden and often overlooked desert modern residences, buildings and houses of worship throughout the Coachella Valley.

Dan Chavkin lives and works in Palm Springs, California.