Sunnylands Center & Gardens is celebrating interior designer William Haines, the decorator of the mid-century modern home on the Rancho Mirage property of the late Walter and Leonore Annenberg, with the upcoming exhibition “Variations to a Theme: William Haines at Sunnylands.”
When does the exhibit run?
The exhibition opens on Sept. 13 and will be on display throughout the 2023-2024 season.
What was Haines known for?
Haines’ style — known as Hollywood Regency and Maximalism — blends colors, textures, patterns and finishes with regard to 19th-century English Regency elements. Even though he was a successful film actor during the 1920s and 1930s, he later switched to interior design, and his client list included former colleagues such as Joan Crawford, Carole Lumbard and Jack and Ann Warner.
What is his Sunnylands legacy?
“In an era and a region heavily leaning into a minimalist, modernist interior design, the Annenbergs embraced a full-on maximalist approach,” said Sunnylands Director of Heritage Anne Rowe in a statement. Haines designed and installed more than 450 items for the Annenberg’s 25,000-square-foot home, such as the cabinets, tables, consoles, sofas, desks, chairs and more. According to Sunnylands, the home contains the largest collection of William Haines, Inc. furniture and lighting in the world.
“Haines earns the title ‘design master’ because his work was unique and singular at a time in history when the mid-century esthetic was everywhere and ‘modern’ was the style of the moment,” said design expert Patrick Dragonette in a statement.
If you go
What: Sunnylands Center & Gardens’ “Variations to a Theme: William Haines at Sunnylands” exhibit
When: Opens Sept. 13 and runs 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday
Where: Sunnylands Center & Gardens, 37-977 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage
How much: Free
Brian Blueskye covers arts and entertainment for the Desert Sun. He can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter at @bblueskye.