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The Tale of Tremain

G.A. Tremain, a presence among the shops on Central Street in Evanston for almost forty years, is pleased to announce our magnificent new space on Custer Avenue. Please visit us for all of your fine art service needs.

An Homage To
Cipora, with her keen attention to detail, expertly facilitated all administrative matters at Tremain until her passing in September, 2014. Her angel-like presence permeated the shop and she fostered deep, meaningful, and personal relationships with each client. 
  • Conservation/Restoration of Fine Art
  • Repair, Refinishing, and Gilding of Ornamental Frames
  • Museum Quality Framing
For over eighteen years, Steve had the rare opportunity to apprentice under his father-in-law, Marty Katz (see below), a genius in his field.
During this tenure, Steve mastered all facets of fine art conservation/restoration and the repair, refinishing, and qilding of antique ornamental frames.
Housed within the Tremain gallery are also myriad fine frame samples from Roma Moulding, Larson-Juhl, and others. Steve considers himself a period framer, well-versed in the framing of 18th century to contemporary pieces.
  • Conservation and Restoration of Fine Art
  • Commissioned Portrait Painting
  • Inventor
  • Renaissance Man
Marty Katz had over 65 years experience as an art conservator, working on everything from naive to master paintings in the European and American schools.
Marty received academic training in anatomy, perspective, and color at the Chicago Academy of Fine Art where he was a pupil of J. Allen St. John and Ruth Van Sickle Ford. Additionally, he received instructions in anatomy, life drawing, portrait, and costume figure painting at the American Academy of Fine Art. It is within this institution that he had the honor of studying under William H. Mosby, Antonin Sterba, and Charles A. Wilimovsky, the latter of whom was a pupil of the distinguished artist, William Merritt Chase.
He also paid his dues in the area of conservation and restoration via apprenticeships for Manfred Blumenschein and Leo Marzollo, conservators at Kaiser Frederick in Berlin and the Chicago Art Institute, respectively. 
Marty's background afforded him the opportunity to work on famous paintings by artists such as Kensett, Gifford, and Thomas Cole of the Hudson River Valley school, William Merritt Chase, Mazzo, (an apprentice of Velazquez), and Fabritius (a pupil of Rembrandt) among others.
Marty also had the honor of restoring all seven founders of the Sigma Chi fraternity. The canvas now hangs in the shrine at the prestigious Northwestern University chapter. Jerry Bieber, curator of the fraternity, found the paintings in deplorable condition. When Bieber found the 1927 portrait of Daniel William Cooper hidden in a storage room the color was badly faded and large rips and holes permeated the canvas. "When Jerry showed me the portrait I immediately became captivated by its quality and the challenge it presented,", said Katz. His work included mending a gaping slash, removing old yellowed varnish build-up and carbon filaments from dust and cigarette smoke, and repainting the left-eye. He then applied several coasts of non-yellowing varnish to preserve his work. The reaction to the once lifeless canvas was inspiring. "only a Sigma Chi could experience the emotion of seeing Daniel William Cooper brought back to life", said Bieber. "I was so mesmerized by his powerful visage that it actually took willpower to remove myself from the room".
As a portrait painter Marty intuitively understood the obstacles inherent to painting and conservation and in accordance with the "necessity is the mother of invention" posit, also received a US patent for an easel that he invented. The Tremain Easel is used by renowned painters and in the conservation department of several museums including the Art Institute of Chicago. 
  • Fine Art Sales
  • Private and Corporate Consulting
During her formative years, the daughter of Marty Katz was surrounded by fine art from both the European and American schools. During evening meals Marty would impart art history lessons which also included stories of the rare works he had uncovered throughout the years. Simona and her father spent invaluable time at The Art Institute of Chicago where the history would seamlessly meld with the visual. She also accompanied her father during his explorations and buying missions, visiting the homes of private collectors, in Chicago and on the Northshore, who hired Marty to build their collections, provide appraisals, and conserve/restore their family heirlooms. 
Simona has a keen eye for fine art and works with both private and corporate collectors, and designers. She has a strong network of highly recognized experts in Chicago, New York, and California, and has facilitated sales in the US and abroad. 
Helping those new to collecting, develop a love and appreciation for art. is also a passion of Simona's and she strives to locate affordable, yet well executed pieces, for those who want to test the waters.