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Brice Marden, Elements 1, 1982. Oil on canvas, four panels, overall (213.4 x 129.5 cm), Daros Collection, Switzerland.
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Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation
171 Orange Street
New Haven, CT 06510
Fax: 203.639.5545

The Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award

Purpose and Goal of the Exhibition Award
The Exhibition Award was created in 1998 to honor the talent and artistic vision of our founder, Emily Hall Tremaine. Her passion for art and support of living artists inspired, challenged, and brought joy to those around her.

Through the competitive biennial application process, the Exhibition Award fuels Emily’s trailblazing spirit by giving life to thematic exhibitions of contemporary art that are fresh and experimental in nature.
• We provide support when funding is not readily available through traditional avenues.
• We also support curators in fully exploring a concept that will manifest in a new or unconventional aesthetic, or in unconventional or challenging historical, cultural and/or social frameworks.

Our Unique Origin Story: The Tremaine Collection

The Tremaine art collection was widely considered to be one of the finest reflections of contemporary art before it was sold to create the asset base for the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation. It stood as a visual testament to the refined and courageous taste of its collectors, Burton and Emily Hall Tremaine.

Emily Hall Tremaine’s artistic vision helped her to collect works from artists who at the time were just starting to define contemporary art. Together, the Tremaines selected works that would influence successive generations of artists and art collectors. In the words of Robert Rosenblum, the collection in its entirety invoked "new constellations of meaning and importance.” It broke with tradition and convention yet conveyed a sense of spirituality and contemplation. Its complexity offered many layers of meaning and insight to the viewer. For these reasons, the Exhibition Award encourages curators to challenge conventional thought through the exploration of critical ideas.

Award Components
The Exhibition Award includes the following five components.
  1. Core Exhibition & Publication - up to $150,000
  2. Touring Incentive - up to $20,000
  3. Support for Living Artists - up to $15,000
  4. Video Documentation - up to $25,000 (new for 2016)
  5. Curatorial Development - up to $5,000 (new for 2016)
Applications are accepted on a biennial basis (the next deadline will be in January 2016) from any curator, or curatorial team, applying in partnership with an established non-profit exhibition space, whether a traditional gallery or museum, or an alternative non-profit venue. The curator can be on staff at the partnering exhibition space or a guest/independent curator working with the partnering space for this exhibit. The proposal should be for a strong, thematic exhibition that puts the works of contemporary art and/or architecture in a new or unconventional aesthetic, historical, cultural, and/or social framework. Applicants are encouraged to think expansively and challenge conventional thought through the exploration of critical ideas in the context of contemporary art. The award is intended to provide support for exhibitions at the beginning stage of their development and to offer the curator the support needed to fully explore a concept and realize an exhibition.

What is NOT eligible?

  • Single artist exhibitions, retrospectives, re-installations, and artist collective exhibitions
  • Exhibitions composed solely of works of graduate students/faculty at a university
  • Exhibitions that do not involve contemporary art (post 1950)
  • Exhibitions that are past the early stage of development
  • Residency programs
  • Exhibition spaces based outside of the United States
  • Exhibitions with multiple large funding sources (The Exhibition Award should be the sole or primary source of funding for the exhibition. Therefore, the Exhibition Award request should represent at least 66% of all funding secured or sought from outside of the partnering institution.)
  • Curators who have received the Exhibition Award in the previous four years (Note that the partner exhibiting institution is exempt from this restriction. They may serve as a partner institution on an application submitted at the next Exhibition Award round.)


mid-October 2015 - Application available on EHTF's website
Thursday, January 14, 2016 - Application deadline
May 2016 - Public announcement of the 2016 Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award recipients.
Given that the Exhibition Award is designed to support the curator’s research and development process as well as the exhibition, the exhibition must open no sooner than May 2017 and no later than May 2019.

Review Criteria for the Jury
For each award cycle, established contemporary art curators are selected to serve as jury panelists to review the applications. The criteria that the jury panel will use to determine the award recipients include:
  • Intellectual quality of the proposal's premise
  • Degree of innovation
  • Distinction from other major art exhibitions either planned or mounted within the last 15 years with a similar topic
  • Potential for both professional and public impact
  • Feasibility of implementation
  • Quality and excellence of the works of art to be included
  • Capacity of the exhibition space to physically accomplish the vision of the concept

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