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The Arts Intel Report

A Cultural Compass
For the World Traveler
A Cultural Compass
For the World Traveler

Albert Frey: Inventive Modernist

A 93-year-old Albert Frey, who died in 1998.

300 S Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262, United States

“Albert Frey: Inventive Modernist”—a comprehensive exhibition at the Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center—displays Frey’s artistic development and expressive talents in a sophisticated installation redolent of the master. Though many architects contributed to the one-story modernist aesthetic of the Palm Springs School, Frey was arguably the most influential. Should you take a spin around the area truffle-hunting Frey’s extant projects, you’ll find the expansive Palm Springs City Hall (1952), whose brise-soleils and palm-tree-studded porticoes nod to Brazilian modernism; the deceptively modest Fire Station No. 1, a 1955 collaboration with Robson Chambers that is still in active use; the Tramway Valley Station (1963), inspired by New England’s covered bridges; and the Palm Springs Visitor Center, once the Tramway Gas Station (1965). Often exhibiting the dreamy pink and turquoise shades that became a Frey signature, these are dynamic, stylized structures that draw from many traditions but still integrate successfully into their desert surroundings. —Patricia Zohn

Photo: Dewey Nicks/Palm Springs Art Museum, special collections