Thanks to the nearly 20 museums, galleries, and other attractions in Houston’s lively Museum District, visitors can immerse themselves in topics as diverse as weather, butterflies, art, and design from around the world. But you don’t have to travel the world to find creative design, and Houston’s Lawndale Art Center aims to prove it during its first annual Design Fair 2010 (April 21-25), an event that brings new life (and a Texas focus) to Lawndale’s 20th Century Modern Market.

Lawndale’s executive director, Christine West, explains the transformation: “When we started Modern Market in the mid-1990s, Mid-Century Modern design was collectible, but it wasn’t as popular as it is now. Today, there are other similar markets around the country; mainstream manufacturers like IKEA and West Elm are making knockoffs and reproductions; and the television show Mad Men has influenced taste in fashion and furniture. Original items have gotten expensive as the period has become more mainstream. So the board decided to broaden the focus to incorporate the exciting things happening in 21st-Century design.”

The event kicks off with a free public lecture on April 21,then continues with a benefit preview party and sale on April 23 (tickets: $75), during which participants can enjoy first dibs on the fair’s furni-ture, glass, ceramics, lighting, books, metalwork, textiles, and fashion.

Design Fair continues on Saturday and Sunday with two floors of items on display (and for sale) by artists and designers from throughout the world. New for 2010: the Texas Co-Op, a presentation of furniture, glass, ceramics, lighting, books, metalwork, and fashion by Texas designers, curated by Houston retail legend Mickey Rosmarin. “We’ll showcase the best designers in Texas,” says West, “while we focus on both Mid-Century design and what is modern today.” Call 713/528-5858;

From the April 2010 issue
The June 2024 cover of Texas Highways: Treasures from the Coast

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