Art / garden design - Roberto Burle Marx. Design for a garden, (1948).

ADC staff
Tremaine Collection / Miller Co. art & design
2 April 2019 | Updated 2 October 2019
Oscar Niemeyer Tremaine House maquette Design for a garden Roberto Burle Marx
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 collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.


Roberto Burle Marx. Design for a garden, (1948).
Gouache on board
50 1/4 x 27 3/4 in. (127.6 x 70.5 cm)

In 1948, Burton and Emily Hall Tremaine commissioned Oscar Niemeyer and Roberto Burle Marx for a house and landscape design for the Tremaine’s beachfront property in the Santa Barbara area of California. The design was recognized for merging rectilinear and organic orientations in art and design at that time, and the Tremaine House designs continue to be exhibited and discussed today.

While Tremaine House ended up unbuilt, the Design for a garden by Burle Marx became part of the Tremaine’s travelling exhibition, Painting toward architecture (1947-52), for the Miller Company Collection of Abstract Art. The Tremaines owned the collection as well as the company. The design travelled on and off in the show from presumably October 1948 to 1952.

In 1949, the Museum of Modern Art in New York ran a special, small exhibition From Le Corbusier to Niemeyer: Savoye House - Tremaine House 1949. The exhibition included Niemeyer’s maquette and drawings, and presumably Burle Marx’s Design for a garden and a collage by Niemeyer and Burle Marx. According to the press release, the theme of the show was "based on Henry-Russell Hitchcock’s book on the Miller [Company] Collection of abstract art, Painting toward architecture." This book also accompanied the travelling Miller Company exhibition and two illustrations showing the design by Niemeyer and Burle Marx were in the book (p. 53).

The maquette, Design for a garden, and collages by Burle Marx and Niemeyer were later donated to the Museum of Modern Art. Over the years since, all of the works have been discussed and shown in different kinds of exhibitions.

To learn more, click the links to articles and exhibition compilations with documentation below.

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

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ADC staff - 14 Jan 20

Tremaine Collection artworks and designs in publications (compilation; 1945-present) With her extensive communications experience from the 1930s, Emily Hall Tremaine marshalled those skills for the benefit of the artworks and designs that she worked with, 1945-87. This compilation focuses on...

The Tremaine Collection: 20th Century Masters exhibition catalogue (list of photos of artworks and designs) (1984)

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ADC staff - 26 Aug 19

The Tremaine Collection: 20th Century Masters exhibition catalogue (list of photos of artworks and designs) (1984) The following is a photo index of the catalogue accompanying the exhibition at the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT (26 February - 29 April 1984). The following photos of artworks...

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...

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" below...

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...