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Tucson Modernism Week returns with packed schedule

Tucson Modernism Week returns with packed schedule

The Old Pueblo’s post-World War II boom comes into full focus once again as Tucson Modernism Week gets underway this Friday through Sunday, Oct. 13.

The annual homage to all things midcentury is packed full of events this year, ranging from Bauhaus film screenings to a Modernism market.

For a full schedule and prices, visit

In the meantime, here are a few things we think you should see:

Tours by bus and by foot — Tours, guided and self-guided, play a big role in this year’s Modernism Week.

Bus tours will take you to see Tucson’s modernist modern churches and other sacred spaces on Saturday, Oct. 5, the views along Miracle Mile and Historic US 80 that same day, and some of the city’s most iconic neon signs on Sunday, Oct. 6.

If you prefer walking, you can take a self-guided tour of two blocks along the Broadway corridor known as the Sunshine Mile on Oct. 5 or hoof it across the University of Arizona campus to see some of its midcentury modern marvels on Tuesday, Oct. 8.

Modernism Week also has a home tour slated for Sunday, Oct. 13.

Exhibits — Tucson Modernism Week tends to shine brightest with its exhibits.

Among this year’s offerings:

  • A showcase of dresses created by Dolores Gonzales, a Tucson fashion designer who infused Southwestern influences into her popular line of resort wear. The exhibit will be housed at the Mexican-American Heritage and History Museum, 151 S. Granada Ave. There will be an opening reception on Oct. 5 and the exhibit will run from Oct. 6-Nov. 31.
  • Modernism Week’s annual vintage trailer show, which offers an up-close-and-personal look at classic trailers, renovated and refurbished by local enthusiasts. This year’s trailer show will take place at Solot Plaza, 2631 E. Broadway, on Saturday, Oct. 12, and Sunday, Oct. 13.
  • Works by Tucson modernist and artist Robert Brisley, whose paintings have been shown in museums across the country, from the Cleveland Museum of Art to the Phoenix Museum of Art, will be on display at Copenhagen Imports, 3660 E. Fort Lowell Road, starting Wednesday, Oct. 9. The exhibit is a joint presentation between the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation and the Old Fort Lowell Neighborhood Association.

Lectures — Local experts will cover a variety of topics over the course of the week.

On Oct. 12, educator Christopher Domin will speak about Arizona architect Judith Chafee in support of his book, “Powerhouse: The Life and Work of Judith Chafee,” which Domin co-wrote with architect Kathryn McGuire. Chafee was a prominent name in Tucson architecture, taught at the University of Arizona and was the first woman in the state to be named an American Institute of Architects fellow. The lecture will be held at the American Evangelical Church, 115 N. Tucson Blvd.

Tucsonan Berta Wright will also be the subject of a lecture at American Evangelical Church on Oct. 12. Wright was a popular fabric designer whose work had an impact on World War II-style in the Southwest in the 1950s and ’60s.

Contact reporter Gerald M. Gay at or 573-4679.

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