A Finding Aid to the Emily Hall Tremaine Papers, 1890-2000, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.trememil
Creators:
Tremaine, Emily Hall, 1908-1987
Dates:
1890-2000
Languages:
English
The collection is in English.
Physical Description:
8.9 Linear Feet
Repository:
The papers of art collector Emily Hall Tremaine measure 8.9 linear feet and date from 1890 to 2000. Found within the papers are biographical materials on the Hall, von Romberg, and Tremaine families, including a sound cassette on the Tremaines; personal correspondence; art collection files, which include inventory binders, records of sales and donations, artist files, exhibition loan files, and reproduction request files; 2 scrapbooks documenting Tremaine's first marriage to Baron Maximilian von Romberg; and photographs of Tremaine, her family and friends, and works of art from her collection. There are also materials related the 1984 exhibition The Tremaine collection: 20th Century Masters at the Wadsworth Athenaeum, including a video recording of Philip Johnson's exhibition lecture.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of art collector Emily Hall Tremaine measure 8.9 linear feet and date from 1890 to 2000. Found within the papers are biographical materials on the Hall, von Romberg, and Tremaine families, including a sound cassette on the Tremaines; personal correspondence; art collection files, which include inventory binders, records of sales and donations, artist files, exhibition loan files, and reproduction request files; 2 scrapbooks documenting Tremaine's first marriage to Baron Maximilian von Romberg; and photographs of Tremaine, her family and friends, and works of art from her collection. There are also materials related the 1984 exhibition The Tremaine collection: 20th Century Masters at the Wadsworth Athenaeum, including a video recording of Philip Johnson's exhibition lecture.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 8 series.
  • Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1910-1980 (7 folders; Box 1)
  • Series 2: Correspondence, 1905-1985 (0.4 linear feet; Box 1)
  • Series 3: Art Collection Files, 1950-1980 (0.6 linear feet; Boxes 1, 9)
  • Series 4: Artist Files, 1936-2000 (4.6 linear feet; Boxes 2-6, 9)
  • Series 5: Exhibition Loan Files, 1960-2000 (1.5 linear feet; Boxes 6-7)
  • Series 6: Reproduction Request Files, 1965-1988 (0.6 linear feet; Box 8)
  • Series 7: Scrapbooks, 1931-1937 (0.3 linear feet; Boxes 9-10)
  • Series 8: Photographic Materials, 1890-1997 (0.8 linear feet; Boxes 8, 10-11)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Art collector Emily Hall Tremaine (1908-1987) lived in New York City and Madison, Connecticut and was known for having assembled one of the most noteworthy collections of post World War II art focused on modernist, pop, and contemporary artists.
Tremaine was born in Butte, Montana to mining executive William Hubbard Hall and his wife, Elizabeth Smith Hall. Her first marriage to Baron Maximilian von Romberg was well publicized in the society pages of the time and ended with the Baron's death in a plane accident in 1938. Her second marriage to sugar heir Adolph B. Spreckels Jr. ended in divorce in 1940.
While Tremaine collected art in the 1930s, it was not until her 1945 marriage to industrial executive Burton Tremaine that she began acquiring works in earnest. Together, the Tremaines assembled a collection that initially focused on American and European modern artists and would eventually include emerging pop and contemporary art. Their first purchase was Piet Mondrian's unfinished painting, Victory Boogie Woogie, now owned by the Gemeentemuseum. The collection would eventually number over 400 art works and range from paintings by Picasso, Kandinsky, and Georges Braque to works by Jasper Johns, Claes Oldenburg, Roy Lichtenstein, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. While single pieces were sold, traded, or donated throughout Tremaine's active collecting years, the bulk of the collection was sold at auction in 1988 and 1991 to raise funds for the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation. Tremaine died from complications of emphysema in 1987.

Administration
Processing Information
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Judy Ng in 2015, with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Author
Judy Ng
Sponsor
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The papers were donated in 2006 by Tremine's step-grandson, Burton G. Tremaine III.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Emily Hall Tremaine papers, 1890-2000. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Conditions Governing Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Conditions Governing Use
The Emily Hall Tremaine papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. They may be used for research, study, and scholarship. Authorization to quote, publish, or reproduce for purposes of publication requires written permission from Burton G. Tremaine III.

Related Materials
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Emily Hall Tremaine conducted by Paul Cummings, January 24, 1973.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- California -- Interviews Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Video recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wadsworth Atheneum Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Von Romberg, Maximillian (Baron) Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Johnson, Philip, 1906-2005 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/