Miller Company Collection of Abstract Art, Meriden, CT

ADC staff
Art sites / orgs
17 April 2019 | Updated 1 December 2021
Painting toward architecture exhibition as installed at the Contemporary Art Museum, Houston (January-February 1950). Courtesy the Karl Kamrath Collection, University of Texas at Austin architectural archives. (See FN "Photo A" for list of works in the photo.) (This photo was unexpectedly found by R. J. Preece / artdesigncafe in c. 2017, and among a set for this exhibition. These photos remain the only ones known to have survived showing an integrated art / architecture installation of the PtA exhibitions.)


Painting toward Architecture exhibition

Overview

Emily Hall Tremaine was the art director of the Miller Company in Meriden, CT (1944 - c. 1960), and working with her CEO husband Burton Tremaine, she organized a traveling exhibition, “Painting Toward Architecture”, for the developing Miller Company Collection of Abstract Art in 1947-52.

The show, which featured some of the biggest names in modern art and architecture, was seen in [28(+) venues] across the U.S.. Combining experimental art and design crossovers, it also achieved a very sophisticated fusion of art, design, and publicity. The show and related initiatives were dynamic, pioneering, and entrepreneurial. Buried under thick, historical dust until 2017, Modernist scholars are taking a closer look at the project.



[Photo A] to the left, Georgia O’Keeffe’s New York night (or City night), (1926); below, cropped view of possibly interior stairwell at Villa Savoye, Poissy, France, by Le Corbusier (1929); foreground, Mary Callery’s Water ballet, (1947); to the far right, unidentified artworks; middleground panel, left to right: photo mural of Cafe de Unie, Rotterdam; Piet Mondrian’s Composition, (1935-42); Perle Fine’s analytical charts on Victory Boogie Woogie, (c. 1947); two small sculptures, left: Jacques Lipchitz’s Pegasus (study), (1944); right: Mary Callery’s Amity (Study), (1946); middle ground, to the left: Fernand Léger’s Le petit déjeuner, (1921); to the right: more analytical charts by Perle Fine; background above, to the left: top of yet undefined representation of Piet Mondrian’s Victory Boogie Woogie, (1942-44), possibly by Perle Fine; top right on sloping ceiling: photo murals, possibly designs including those by Le Corbusier, Rietveld, and Gropius.



Click the articles below that discuss and mention the Miller Company Collection of Abstract Art.

Emily Hall Tremaine’s 1930s: In danger, madness, decadence and publicity

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R. J. Preece - 02 Aug 21

Emily Hall Tremaine’s 1930s: In danger, madness, decadence and publicity This micro-site and webpage are packed with a lot of new information clarifying Emily’s work and life. Left: Wire service photo of Emily Hall Tremaine (previously Spreckels) wearing in today’s value from...

Theo van Doesburg’s Space-time construction #3 and Composition XX in the Painting toward architecture exhibitions (1947-52)

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R. J. Preece - 10 Jun 18

Theo van Doesburg’s Space-time construction #3 and Composition XX in the Painting toward architecture exhibitions (1947-52) The influential Space-time... in the original PtA is also a key element in a travelling exhibition focused on architect Harry Seidler. Next scheduled venue: Chicago,...

Oscar Niemeyer / Roberto Burle Marx. Tremaine House & Painting toward architecture (2017)

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R. J. Preece - 27 Dec 17

Oscar Niemeyer / Roberto Burle Marx. Tremaine House & Painting toward architecture (2017) Left: Oscar Neimeyer. Beach House for Mr. and Mrs. Burton Tremaine, project, Santa Barbara / (Montecito), California, (1948); Right: Roberto Burle Marx. Design for a garden, (1948). Both in the...

Frank Lloyd Wright. Project for Meteor Crater & Painting toward architecture (2017)

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R. J. Preece - 27 Dec 17

Frank Lloyd Wright. Project for Meteor Crater & Painting toward architecture (2017) Click below to see a black-and-white reproduction of the color drawing showing FLW’s Meteor Crater design, on view in the 2017 MoMA exhibition. See Arthur Drexler’s 1962 book: The drawings of Frank Lloyd...

Piet Mondrian. Victory boogie woogie & Painting toward architecture (2018)

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R. J. Preece - 27 Dec 17

Piet Mondrian. Victory boogie woogie & Painting toward architecture (2018) Piet Mondrian. Victory Boogie Woogie, (1942-44). Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, The Netherlands. > Make sure to see the overview page for Mondrian’s Victory boogie woogie. A third work with Miller...

Painting toward architecture (1947-52) in 2017: Three works, three histories, three Modern mysteries

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R. J. Preece - 27 Dec 17

Painting toward architecture (1947-52) in 2017: Three works, three histories, three Modern mysteries From left to right: Design drawing for Meteor Crater, Frank Lloyd Wright (this drawing not in MoMA exhibition); Design for a garden by Roberto Burle Marx, (1948), in DB KunstHalle show...

Rethinking Painting toward architecture (1947-52) (2017)

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R. J. Preece - 01 Jul 17

Rethinking Painting toward architecture (1947-52) (2017) Painting toward architecture exhibition as installed at the Contemporary Art Museum, Houston (January-February 1950). Courtesy the Karl Kamrath Collection, University of Texas at Austin architectural archives. (See FN "Photo A"...

The Painting toward architecture exhibition (1947-52) by the Miller Company Collection of Abstract Art: The artworks and designs (2016)

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ADC staff - 28 Aug 16

The Painting toward architecture exhibition (1947-52) by the Miller Company Collection of Abstract Art: The artworks and designs (2016) Artworks exhibited in Painting toward architecture (1947-52) It is important to note that over the 28(+) venues of Painting toward architecture, the...

The Painting toward architecture exhibition (1947-52), Miller Company Collection of Abstract Art: Documentation and historical information

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ADC staff - 16 Jul 16

The Painting toward architecture exhibition (1947-52), Miller Company Collection of Abstract Art: Documentation and historical information "The part that the Medicis played in Renaissance Italy can be best approximated today by such great corporations as those that I have named...

Tremaine Collection artworks and designs in exhibitions (compilation; 1945-present)

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ADC staff - 16 Jun 16

Tremaine Collection artworks and designs in exhibitions (compilation; 1945-present) Starting with their Miller Company Collection of Abstract Art, Burton Tremaine and Emily Hall Tremaine, known for her great eye, built a collection of works which were featured in hundreds of exhibitions. After...

Miller Company design catalogues and historical information

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ADC staff - 25 Feb 16

Miller Company design catalogues and historical information Patents, advertisements, catalogues & more concerning the design legacy, exclusively by artdesigncafe. Above, two Modernist graphic designs (left, cover of the Miller Company’s 1945 Ceilings Unlimited catalogue; right,...

Letter: Burton Tremaine to Nelson Rockefeller (re: Philip Johnson), MoMA (27 December 1951)

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ADC staff - 27 Dec 51

Letter: Burton Tremaine to Nelson Rockefeller (re: Philip Johnson), MoMA (27 December 1951) The Miller Company Meriden, Connecticut December 27, 1951 Mr. Nelson A. Rockefeller, President The Museum of Modern Art 11 West 53rd Street New York 19, New York Dear Mr. Rockefeller:...

Painting toward architecture press release (1948)

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ADC staff - 15 Jan 48

Painting toward architecture press release (1948) The following is a copy of the original press release prepared by the Miller Company Collection of Abstract Art. This show travelled to at least 28 venues across the US and generated significant art, design, architecture and popular press media...