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Tremaine Houses, 1930s-1970s: The Quest for the Perfect Modern Home
February 19, 2017 | 10:00 am - 11:00 pm |
Two icons of Californian midcentury modern design are Richard Neutra’s Tremaine House in Montecito and Oscar Niemeyer’s Tremaine Beach House for Serena Beach, both located just south of Santa Barbara. Much less well known are the clients behind the projects. Warren D. Tremaine and Katharine Williams Tremaine worked with Neutra on their home from 1945 to 1948, while Burton G. Tremaine and Emily Hall Tremaine commissioned the unrealized beach house from Niemeyer in 1947. Between themselves, the two brothers and their wives commissioned from the late 1930s to the 1970s approximately twenty-five modern architectural projects. In addition to Neutra and Niemeyer, they worked with architects like Philip Johnson, Cliff May, Frank Lloyd Wright, Lutah Maria Riggs and Richard Buckminster Fuller; and these are only the better-known names of a long list of modern architects who designed for the Tremaines. Tremaine houses exist or were planned for locations in California, Arizona, Connecticut and New York, as well as in countries as far away as Ireland. The patronage of modern architecture by the Tremaines is the focus of this lecture which, for the first time ever, will present an overview of the architectural commissions of these extraordinary clients and their quest for the perfect modern home.
Volker M. Welter PhD (Univ. Edinb), Professor, Department of the History of Art and Architecture, University of California at Santa Barbara, is also a writer of many articles in prestigious publications and the author of “Walter S. White: Inventions in Mid-Century Architecture” (2016 AD+A, UCSB).