Tremaine Collection / Miller Company:
Artworks and designs

See list of Tremaine artworks and designs below.

"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.)

The Baltimore museum was the fourth venue of 28(+) that exhibited the Painting toward architecture exhibition (1947-52), featuring art and architecture crossovers in relation to design and technology development at the Miller Company. The PtA-era at the Miller Co. was a powerful engine that drove the later art purchasing and extensive lending and publication-facilitation work of Burton and Emily Hall Tremaine into the 1980s, until they passed away. The power of their work can be seen in the extensive lending of works to exhibitions continuing to this day.

Miller Co Meriden Mondrian Emily Spreckels diamonds louise lawler pollock and tureen traced painted
Frank Lloyd Wright meteor crater Oscar Niemeyer Tremaine House maquette
Emily Hall Tremaine as poacher Andy Warhol headline artwork Morris Lapidus Miller Company interior design concept
yves klein blue sponge jasper johns three flags guerrilla girls warhol tremaines

This Tremaine Collection / Miller Company micro-site at artdesigncafe is the authoritative, researched source and centralized, online disseminator of information focused on the Modernist art and design achievements of the Tremaines. Overlooked for too many years and falling through various cracks, artdesigncafe took action starting in 2016 with this documentation recovery and dissemination pursuit. The effort has resulted in many taking another closer look at the work, and has deepened understandings of the Tremaine work beneath the surface and increased appreciation.

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With the Modernist PtA crossover power engine, it is expected that the Tremaine work will be of historical impact for decades and centuries to come, and also be of continued significant relevance to crossover contemporary art, design, promotion, business and technology as a historical case study. In fact, project leader and international arts journalist and communications professional R. J. Preece describes the Tremaine work as "a very rare jewel deeply hidden away in plain sight, partly just down the road in the decaying, post-industrial town where I grew up long ago. I just really found out about it not long ago. Personally, finding out about the parallels of interest across crossover fields, and the historical location, is deeply intense. In fact, at times, it is almost mind-boggling."

Over the years, there were many art finds by the Tremaines. This started with Victory Boogie Woogie (1942-44), Piet Mondrian’s last, unfinished painting, which in part was an inspiration for the travelling Painting toward architecture show. The finds continued most notably concerning early Pop Art, including Marilyn diptych (1962) by Andy Warhol, now at Tate Modern, London, and Jasper Johns’s Three flags, (1958), now at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Design commissions over the years included the unbuilt Tremaine House (1948) by Oscar Niemeyer and Roberto Burle Marx, recognized for fusing rectilinear and organic orientations in art and design. The Tremaines even had a hand in Walter de Maria’s iconic Lightning field (1977), letting the artist set up and test the work on their land in Arizona, prior to the siting in New Mexico.

Before PtA, Mrs. Tremaine worked in the publishing field, achieving national level media attention. (Above, see cropped photo of a sample press clipping, to the left of Warhol’s A boy for Meg). However, it was only after meeting and marrying Burton Tremaine that her interest and exhibition of artworks took off. It is their conversations that developed the Tremaine Collection and the power of their selections can be seen in the exhibitions of the works through today.

Also contributing to the discussion are Louise Lawler’s Tremaine Pictures— photoworks and new, related editions, over 200 so far— showing the Tremaine-owned artworks in their New York and Connecticut interiors, on view at the 1984 Tremaine Collection exhibition entitled The spirit of Modernism, and selected Tremaine-owned works in the well-known 1988 Christie’s auction after Mrs. Tremaine’s death. Further, criticism by the Guerrilla Girls for the male-only artist selection of works that ended up at auction (while numerous works by female artists collected by the Tremaines over the years were left out; second the auction was at Christie’s, not Sotheby’s) also continue the discussion with continued exhibition of their critical poster.

Further, off in Australia and circling back to Painting toward architecture, the impact of the initial project is well-known via the work of architect Harry Seidler, and the recent exhibitions Harry Seidler: Painting toward architecture, exhibited in multiple venues globally. Over the years, Seidler frequently mentioned the influence of the project and its impact on his work. In fact, a reproduction of a Van Doesburg work in the original PtA was included in the Seidler exhibition.

Click to see:

> 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) (on Mondrian’s Victory Boogie Woogie and other VBW representations; unbuilt Tremaine House designed by Niemeyer and Burle Marx; and the unbuilt design by Frank Lloyd Wright for Meteor Crater)

> 6: Article - "Van Doesburg artworks in Painting toward Architecture"

> 7: Miller Company product designs in collections, historical lighting installations, and exhibitions (generally, see 1945-65 for occasional art - graphic design - product design - interior design - architecture PtA-era crossovers)

> 8: Miller Company design catalogues and historical information (generally, see 1945-65 for occasional art - graphic design - product design - interior design - architecture PtA-era crossovers)

> 9: Tremaine Collection / Miller Company art & design in exhibitions (1945-present)

> 10: Tremaine Collection artworks and designs in publications (compilation; 1945-present)

> 11: A New York collector (Emily Hall Tremaine) selects... at San Francisco Museum of Art (1965), exhibition checklist. (The selected works are not thought to have been in the Tremaine Collection)

> 12: The Tremaine Collection: 20th Century Masters exhibition at Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT (1984) (list of artworks on view)

> 13: The Tremaine Collection: 20th Century Masters exhibition catalogue (list of photos of artworks and designs) (1984)

> 14: Tremaine Collection artworks in Tremaine auction catalogues (1988, 1991)

> 15: Louise Lawler. The Tremaine pictures. List of photoworks (with Tremaine-owned artworks identified in the photos) (2007)

> 16: Emily Hall Tremaine papers, 1890-2000, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. (As of January 2020, the papers are digitized and online.) Also, see Emily Hall Tremaine Papers at the Smithsonian, reproduction permissions section: Shortlisted guide to artworks (at (This guide will save researchers significant time.)

> 17: maintains a growing offline archive of materials, over 3500 sources to date, related to Emily Hall Tremaine’s work and life prior to 1945, mainly in Southern California. Please note there are factual errors in her history, absence of important contexts, and her fuller history will be presented in the forthcoming book Surviving California. In the meantime, Emily von Romberg (married to Max von Romberg (1928-38) and Emily Spreckels (married to Adolph B. Spreckels, Jr. (1939-separated 1940) reference articles are provided, and a preview is provided in the form of an essay "The depiction of [Andy Warhol’s] Marilyn Diptych as autobiographical for Emily Hall Tremaine" on the artwork’s webpage. Researchers and journalists with specific queries are welcome to contact R. J. Preece directly.

"Throughout history the same historical circumstances that have produced great artists have also produced great patrons and collectors, and the Tremaine Collection— taken as a whole— can in itself be seen as an artistic creation of the first magnitude." [Gregory Hedberg in "The history of the Tremaine Collection", p. 23. In The Tremaine Collection: 20th century masters: The spirit of Modernism (1984). Catalogue accompanying the exhibition.]

The following developing compilation of artworks and designs relate to the former Tremaine Collection and Miller Company Collection of Abstract Art. Click the following works listed below to see articles and documentation concerning the works and their connections to the collections. (In total, the number of works of art was over 700, and the number of designs has not yet been determined.)