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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).


February 19, 2017
10:00 am - 11:00 pm
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Additional Information

Things to Know
The entrance to the Annenberg Theater is located behind the Annenberg Theater Box Office adjacent to the museum's North Parking Lot.
Special Parking Instructions
Ample free public parking is available in the public garage across from Palm Springs Art Museum.
Photography Credits
Oscar Niemeyer, Beach House for Burton and Emily Tremaine, Serena Beach, CA, 1947-48, not realized. (Photo courtesy of Architecture & Design Collection, UC Santa Barbara, copyright: UC Regents)Lutah Maria Riggs, von Romberg House, Montecito, CA, 1936-38, courtesy Architecture and Design Collection, University of California at Santa Barbara, copyright UC Regents. Richard Neutra, Living Quarters, Residence of Mr. and Mrs. Warren Tremaine, Scottsdale, AZ, 1945-48, not built, courtesy Palm Springs Art Museum


Modernism Week


Palm Springs Art Museum Annenberg Theater
101 N Museum Drive
Palm Springs, CA 92262 United States
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