Annual Barry Downs Lecture Series: West Coast Modern and Desert Modern: Architects Attuned to Nature
As part of West Coast Modern Week, the Barry Downs Architecture Lecture will feature Sidney Williams.
The West Coast and the California desert share spectacular scenery, but extremely diverse natural environments. How did the architects design in concert with the natural elements of climate in these regions? Looking at architects’ own houses, where often they designed for challenging sites, with more modest budgets, Williams will compare and contrast their approaches.
About the speaker
Sidney Williams was director of education and public programs before becoming curator of architecture and design at the Palm Springs Art Museum from 2003 to 2016. She was the founding curator of the Architecture and Design Center after a historic rehabilitation of a 1961 bank building which opened in 2014. Her curatorial projects included co-curating with Dr. Lauren Bricker, Steel and Shade: The Architecture of Donald Wexler (2011, with catalogue) and a retrospective, with accompanying catalogue, of the museum’s architect entitled, An Eloquent Modernist: E. Stewart Williams, Architect, 2014. Sidney was an exhibition advisor for the Getty Los Angeles/Latin America exhibition, In Search of Living Architecture: Albert Frey and Lina Bo Bardi, 2017. Currently, she is active in the Palm Springs Architectural Alliance that focuses on fostering the legacy of Palm Springs’s architectural excellence into the future.
A member of the City of Palm Springs Historic Site Preservation Board for six years, Sidney served three years as chair. As a board member of Modernism Week for eight years, she was part of the team who developed and produced the multi-faceted programming. Sidney is the recipient of several awards: an honorary membership in the AIA, Desert Chapter; an honoree at the UCLA Architecture and Urban Design, 50th Anniversary Celebration, Palm Springs Modern Architecture Advocates; and the DOCOMOMO Preservation Award for the rehabilitation of the Architecture and Design Center. Born in Vancouver, she holds a BA in art history from the University of British Columbia and a MA in art history from UCLA.