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Emily Hall Tremaine papers, circa 1890-2004

More Information

Judy Ng and Stephanie Ashley
Scope and Contents
The papers of art collector Emily Hall Tremaine measure 8.9 linear feet, date from circa 1890 to 2004, and document the development of Tremaine's seminal collection of modernist, pop, and contemporary art. The papers comprise biographical material including a sound recording, personal correspondence, art collection files, artist files, exhibition loan files including a video recording, and reproduction request files. Also found are two 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.
Biographical material relates to the Hall, von Romberg, and Tremaine families, and includes a sound recording about the Tremaine family. Correspondence is with family members, including Tremaine's three husbands, her mother, and her sister Elizabeth, and includes Christmas cards with reproductions of artwork from Tremaine's collection.
Art collection files include inventory binders and document the purchase dates, prices, market value, and provenance of artwork purchased by the Tremaines. Artist files provide further detail on works by individual artists, and track the purchase, sale, trade, loan, and donation of many of those works. Of note is extensive documentation of the provenance, restoration, and sale of Piet Mondrian's Victory Boogie Woogie which was sold in 1988.
Exhibition loan files document loans from the Tremaine collection for exhibitions in the United States and abroad. Records of a 1984 Wadsworth Atheneum exhibition of artwork from the Tremaine collection include a video recording of a lecture by Philip Johnson. Requests for permission to reproduce images from the Tremaine collection document the extensive publication history of many of the works of art.
Two scrapbooks document the courtship and marriage of Emily Hall and Maximilian von Romberg and record von Romberg's passions for polo and aviation.
Photographic material primarily documents Tremaine's personal life, through portraits of Tremaine, her sister, and parents; wedding pictures from her marriage to von Romberg; photos of friends and members of Santa Barbara high society, including Clark Gable, Ruth and Walter Pidgeon, and Jeanne and Juan Reynal; and photos of the home Emily shared with von Romberg on the Brunninghausen Estate in Montecito, California. Two dismantled photograph albums include photos of artwork in the Tremaine collection.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The papers were donated in 2005 by Tremaine's step-grandson, 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.
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the The Brent R. Harris Charitable Fund. Funding for the digitization of the papers was provided by the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation. Researchers are invited and encouraged to inform the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation of publication efforts at
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. The collection was further processed by Stephanie Ashley in 2018-2019 and was digitized in 2019 with funding provided by the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation.