The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands to Open

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands, which incorporates the historic Annenberg estate and the new Sunnylands Center & Gardens, will open to the public in conjunction with Palm Springs Modernism Week, February 16 to 26, 2012.

A limited number of tickets for tours of Sunnylands are available through the Modernism Week website Beginning March 1, 2012, tours of the estate and visits to Sunnylands Center & Gardens will be available through
An invitation-only formal dedication ceremony of The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands will be held on Sunday, February 12, 2012.

The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands was established by the late Ambassador Walter and Leonore Annenberg to host small, high-level retreats for the President of the United States and the Secretary of State to bring together world leaders together to advance international peace and increase global understanding, among other purposes.

Owned and operated by The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands, the property was the 200-acre estate of the Annenbergs. Designed by architect A. Quincy Jones, with interiors by William Haines and Ted Graber, the 25,000-square-foot midcentury modern home is located in the middle of landscaped grounds including a private golf course designed by the legendary Dick Wilson. The Annenbergs lived in the desert for approximately five months each year following the home’s completion in 1966. It is here that they entertained United States presidents, royalty, international political figures, and cultural and entertainment icons.

The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands will present and host high-level retreats on issues of national and international importance with an aspiration for meaningful impact and outcomes. Working with global leaders from a range of fields including government, philanthropy, education, and the arts, staff will develop programs designed to have an impact on society.

Sunnylands Center & Gardens will feature tours including a study of the art collection and interior design; exploration of the architecture of the home; a review of the 20th century cultural landscape; the introduction to 21st-century greening of the 15-acre Center & Gardens; and a review of films, videos, and publications detailing the historic events of the time and the role played by the Annenbergs as well as their generosity and commitment to education and the arts.

Visitors will be able to examine the exhibits placing the estate in the context of the architectural movement referred to as midcentury modernism. They can view an orientation film in the theater and engage with the interactive multimedia kiosks that will bring alive Sunnylands, its residents, heritage, and context.