Joyce Treiman was born in Evanston, Illinois. She received her B.F.A. in 1943 from the University of Iowa, where she studied with Philip Guston. She had her first solo show in Chicago the previous year. Treiman was employed as a commercial artist in Chicago during World War II, but resigned after exhibitions of her work were held at the Art Institute of Chicago and in New York. In 1960 Treiman and her husband moved to Pacific Palisades, California. She was described as "an artist's artist" by a critic for the Los Angeles Times. In 1990 she was elected a member of the National Academy of Design.
Joann Moser Singular Impressions: The Monotype in America (Washington, D.C. and London: Smithsonian Institution Press for the National Museum of American Art, 1997)