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Designed for Dancing: How Midcentury Records Taught America to Dance

A talk on visually vibrant midcentury dance albums from a golden age of cover design and their contribution to the story of American identity, including fashion, popular music and dance parties. $12 (1 hr)
Category: @Palm Springs, @CAMP Theater, Book Signing, Kid-Friendly Activity, Presentation, Talk



Photo Gallery
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Full Details

Record albums typically find a place in popular culture, rather than fine art; but Borgerson and Schroeder argue that the representations of dancing captured on midcentury record covers are no less evocative and telling than those in painting or photography. We celebrate midcentury dance records from Waltz to Watusi, Tango to Twist, Square dance to Swim, recalling the visions and vitality of the US post-war imagination. This image-driven presentation is bound to get your toes tapping, as we reflect on colorful, evocative midcentury graphic design from our analog archive.

Janet Borgerson and Jonathan Schroeder are a creative team, writing, teaching and collecting vinyl records together for over 25 years. Powered by PhDs in Psychology (Jonathan) and Philosophy (Janet), their enthusiasm for modern design, retro aesthetics and travel found expression in their book, Designed for Hi-Fi Living: The Vinyl LP in Midcentury America, which was named a best book of 2017 by the Financial Times and a best music book by Vinyl Factory. Overthrowing conventional assumptions, Borgerson and Schroeder’s analog rescue project pulls vintage vinyl out of the bargain bins and reveals the cultural relevance of these revealing records. Their new book Designed for Dancing: How Midcentury Records Taught America to Dance celebrates the joy of dancing with an in-depth look at almost 300 vintage dance records and was published in October 2021.


Things to Know

This event is for all ages.
A book signing will follow this event.
Ample free public parking is available in the multi-level public garage across from the Palm Springs Art Museum.
Handicap parking is available. This event is wheelchair accessible.
The organizer of this event is Modernism Week.

Event Check-in Location 

CAMP Theater, 285 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262
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Photo Credits: 
Rodriguez and His Orchestra, Latin Dance Party,Hi Fidelity, cover design by C. Arnold Carlson, 1959; and Tiny Doolittle and the Twisters, Twist, Hurrah Records, 1962.  The Mayfair All-Star Orchestra, Frat House Party, Golden Tone, cover design by C. Arnold Carlson, c. 1957; and Let’s Dance the Merengue Seeco Records, 1956. Let’s Hula, Hula Records, photo by Ron Adams, 1962; and Perez Prado, Great Mambos and other Latin American Favorites Bell, 1958.


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