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Modernism Tour: Sunnylands Estate

If you’re in or near Palm Springs and in the mood for all things Modern, be sure to try for reservations to tour the Annenberg estate, Sunnylands, in Rancho Mirage. Also famous as “Camp David West,” the beautiful pink-roofed house was designed for Ambassador Annenberg and his wife Leonore by A. Quincy Jones, completed in 1966, and declared a historic site in 1990. A $60-million renovation was recently completed, including earthquake proofing and environmentally friendly power and water retrofitting. The house interiors — all 25,000 square feet — have been kept pristinely intact and exude their original elegance. The magnificent collection of Post-Impressionist pictures now resides at the Met, but photo-reproductions preserve the original atmosphere.

Public tours are now available (when there’s not a retreat for heavy-duty politicos in session), but tickets for a tour of the residence are extremely tough to snag: they’re issued on a first-come, first served basis on the 1st and 15th of each month, and sell out immediately. You can, however, always visit the beautiful new Frederick Fisher-designed visitor center (with newly landscaped gardens) during regular visiting hours, sans ticket.

Calendar Updates: Museum Openings

Museum opening updates to keep your calendar straight this year: Barnes Foundation opens May 19th of this year (they even have a countdown to opening day on their website). The Eli and Edyth Broad Museum MSU, originally slated to open in April of this year has been pushed back to the fall, while the Broad Museum in Los Angeles should open in 2013. The Aspen Art Museum’s new building should also open in 2013, if things go according to plan; and SFMOMA’s ongoing expansion to accommodate the Doris and Donald Fisher Collection can be followed online here, with groundbreaking scheduled for summer, 2013.