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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Tucson Modernism Week blasts to the past

    If one fancies to travel back into the past, and maybe take a little back to the future with them, Tucson residents need not look further than Tucson Modernism Week, an event that is taking place this week.

    Thanks to the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation, the fourth annual Tucson Modernism Week is gracing downtown Tucson with authentic relics of the nation’s modernist past.

    Beginning as only a small, four-day event, Modernism Week has expanded into a nine-day convention, featuring lecturers speaking on the style of modernism and its effects on the history of Tucson, including retro bus tours of all the examples of modernism on Tucson’s Miracle Mile.

    At that time, the Modern movement began to affect lifestyle choices in many cities across America. Tucson was not exempt from this sweeping change in mindset that broke away from the classical and traditional ways of looking at art, design and social interaction.

    Demion Clinco, committee chairman for Tucson Modernism Week and CEO for the Tucson Preservation Foundation, shared his views on the importance of the convention.

    “It’s a time to celebrate the style that helped shape Tucson into the city that it is today,” Clinco said. “It is part of the city’s identity, one that should be embraced and remembered.”

    Tucson Modernism Week is not only a place to hear and see the modern style of the ’40s-’60s, but visitors can also take pieces of that era with them. In the Tucson Convention Center, a small marketplace was constructed for businesses to sell refurbished products as well as new modernist items to attendees’ of Tucson Modernism Week. There visitors found a variety of items, ranging from vintage eyeglass frames to retro-styled furniture. 

    Shawn Silberblatt, one of the business owners at Tucson Modernism Week, explained his experience at the event. 

    “Oh, it’s awesome! It’s a lot of fun,” Silberblatt said. “Anytime you get like-minded people together, it’s amazing, especially with modern furniture and design. It’s just such a great experience.”

    This year, Tucson Modernism Week is focused on the style of the “post WWII era.” Modernism traces its beginnings back to France in the late 1800s, but didn’t become an extremely well-known movement or have a major effect in the U.S. until after the second World War, around the 1940s to the 1960s. 

    The convention started on Friday and goes on until Saturday, Oct. 10. Although some of the events are free, such as the exhibits, most cost money. The prices of the events cost from $5-$25. Tickets can be found at

    From restored vintage trailers to exhibits of Danish furniture, Tucson Modernism Week has all that anyone could look for regarding modern style. For those seeking to find something new by looking into the past, Tucson Modernism Week is an event that should not be missed.

    Follow Alex Angeles on Twitter.

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