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

Painting toward architecture - Mondrian Painting toward architecture - Cafe de Unie Painting toward architecture

"The part that the Medicis played in Renaissance Italy can be best approximated today by such great corporations as those that I have named and the fact that the Miller [Company] recently won an award for having made the best use of the fine arts to promote high standard in the [caliber] of their own products is truly significant." (Adelyn D. Breeskin, Director, Baltimore Museum of Art, excerpt from speech, 4 April 1948. See below.)

Painting toward architecture was a 28(+) venue art/design show exhibited in 1947-52 by the Miller Company, a commercial lighting manufacturer based in Meriden, CT. A book, not necessarily an exhibition catalogue, also entitled Painting toward architecture was published a year after the first opening in c. November 1948 and then accompanied the exhibition. This book featured an essay by Henry-Russell Hitchcock; a foreword by Alfred Barr, Jr of MoMA; acknowledgements by Emily Hall Tremaine, Art Director, The Miller Company; and a one-paragraph, introductory statement introducing the book by Burton G. Tremaine, Jr., President of the Miller Company, located in Meriden, CT...

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After publication of the book, photo-murals of architecture start to appear in the traveling exhibition with the art, according to found documentation below. Before this, it appears that only artworks were on view.

During and around this time, the Miller Company brought Modernism into their graphic design, product design, interior design concepts and in architecture commissions— the latter largely pursued on a personal basis by the Tremaines. These commissions include a structure, unbuilt, for Meteor Crater, Arizona by Frank Lloyd Wright, and then by Philip Johnson. There was another commission, unbuilt, for the Tremaine House in the Santa Barbara area by Oscar Niemeyer with garden design by Roberto Burle Marx. The art/design activities led by the Tremaines overall can be considered as contributing to the construction of the Modern in America.

Mrs. Tremaine had a very sophisticated communications background prior to working on the Painting toward architecture project. The diverse articles below reflect that sensibility, including coverage in art, design, architecture and lighting publications and more. Events for architects and presumably with Miller Co. customers and prospects occurred at some exhibition venues.

The details of the Miller Company work have largely been buried in history. Below and on other Miller Co. pages, has actively engaged in retrieving this history to provide a fuller picture of its contributions to Modernism.

— R. J. Preece,, 2 November 2017

This extensive documentation compilation page, which is exclusively the copyright of, is being reworked. In the meantime, please contact for any queries regarding Painting toward architecture.

To learn more about art, design, and publicity approaches like the organizer Emily Hall Tremaine specialized in, including legal publicity, click here.

Overview: Tremaine / Miller Co. art & design | 1: Painting toward architecture - Miller Co. press release | 2: Painting toward architecture: Documentation and historical information | 3: Painting toward architecture - artworks and designs | 4: Article - "Rethinking ’Painting toward architecture’ (2017)" | 5: Article - "Painting toward architecture: Three works, three histories, three Modern mysteries" (2017) | 6: Article - "Van Doesburg artworks in PtA" | 9: Miller Co / Tremaine art & design in exhibitions (1945-present)