Otto Stark Collection, 1887-1970
Collection Mss 075
Otto Stark (1859-1926) was an Indianapolis-born artist who gained national prominence as a member of the "Hoosier Group," a loose association of Indiana artists that included T. C. Steele, J. Ottis Adams, and William Forsyth. Stark's work most clearly showed the influence of Impressionism, and he often featured children in his work.
Stark's artistic career began at the age of 16 when he was apprenticed to a lithographer in Cincinnati. Stark also enrolled in the School of Design at the University of Cincinnati. He moved to New York in 1879, where he studied at the Art Students' League while supporting himself as an illustrator. Stark studied in Paris from 1885 to 1888, and he exhibited paintings in the Paris Salons of 1886 and 1887. He also married while living in France.
Stark and his family returned to the United States in 1888, living first in New York and later in Philadelphia. After his wife's death in 1891, Stark moved back to Cincinnati. He returned to Indianapolis in 1893 and began offering art classes in his studio. He became the Supervisor of Art at Manual High School in 1899 and an instructor in composition and illustration at the John Herron Art Institute in 1905. He retired from both positions in 1919. As a teacher, Stark influenced such artists as William Edouard Scott, Elmer Taflinger, and John Wesley Hardrick.
Stark remained an active artist until his death. He exhibited paintings at shows in Chicago (1894), Omaha (1898), St. Louis (1904), Buenos Aires (1910), and San Francisco (1915) as well as in local and regional exhibits.
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The collection is divided into five series: catalogs, correspondence, publication, illustrations, and photographs.
Catalogs (1887, 1910) contains catalogs from the Paris Salon of 1887 and the Exposicion Internacional de Arte del Centenario Buenos Aires of 1910. Stark exhibited paintings in both shows.
Correspondence (1888-1970) includes letters, cards, and telegrams to Stark and his family. Most of the letters are from his father, Gustav Stark, and are written in German.
Publication (1895) is a Xeroxed copy of the article "The Evolution of Impressionism," by Stark. It appeared in the periodical Modern Art.
Illustrations (n.d.) are small copies of illustrations done by Stark. All of the illustrations feature children.
Photographs (n.d.) are of Stark, his parents, some of his children, and other relatives. There are also copy prints and negatives of the original photographs.
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Box Folder Contents Date 1 01 Catalog 1887 "Salon de 1887, Catalogue Illustre," catalog for art exhibition held in Paris; Otto Stark exhibited a painting in the show 1 02 Catalog 1910 "Exposicion Internacional de Arte del Centenario Buenos Aires 1910, Catalogo Ilustrado," catalog for art exhibit held in Argentina; Otto Stark and T. C. Steele exhibited a painting each in the show 1 03 Correspondence 1/26/? Letter from Edmund (Stark?) to his father; in German 1 04 Correspondence n.d. Letter from Gustav and Leona Stark to their son and daughter-in-law, Otto and Marie Stark; in German 1 05 Correspondence 8/6/? Letter, probably from Otto Stark, to his children during his stay in Gloucester, MA; written in German; also includes transcript in German and English translated 1 06 Correspondence 7/20/1888 Letter from Cornet to Otto and Marie Stark; written in French 1 07 Correspondence 10/26/1888 Letter from Cornet to "Chers amis," presumably Otto and Marie Stark; written in French 1 08 Correspondence 6/13/1891 Letter from Gustav Stark to Otto and Marie Stark; written in German 1 09 Correspondence 7/6/1891 Letter from Gustav Stark to Otto Stark; written in German 1 10 Correspondence 8/21/1891 Letter from Gustav Stark to Otto and Marie Stark; written in German 1 11 Correspondence 8/26/1891 Letter from Gustav Stark to Marie (Otto's wife or perhaps Gustav's sister?); written in German 1 12 Correspondence 9/18/1891 Letter from Gustav Stark to Otto Stark; written in German 1 13 Correspondence 11/1891 Telegrams about death of Marie Stark: telegram from hospital to Otto Stark, informing him of wife's death; telegrams of sympathy to Otto Stark from Gustav Stark, O. C. Wigend, and Mr. & Mrs. Annshauser 1 14 Correspondence 1/12/1892 Letter from Gustav Stark to Otto Stark; written in German 1 15 Correspondence 1/15/1892 Letter from Gustav Stark to Otto Stark; written in German 1 16 Correspondence 1/19/1892 Letter from Gustav Stark to Otto Stark; written in German 1 17 Correspondence 3/23/1892 Letter from Gustav Stark to Marie ? (possibly Gustav's sister?); written in Germany 1 18 Correspondence 4/28/1892 Letter from Gustav Stark to Otto Stark; written in German 1 19 Correspondence 6/20/1892 Letter from Gustav Stark to Otto Stark; written in German 1 20 Correspondence 6/25/1892 Letter from Gustav Stark to Otto Stark; written in German 1 21 Correspondence 11/18/1892 Letter from Gustav Stark to Otto Stark; written in German 1 22 Correspondence 12/9/1892 Letter from Gustav Stark to Otto Stark; written in German; also includes transcript in German and English translation 1 23 Correspondence 12/16/1892 Letter from Gustav Stark to Otto Stark; written in German 1 24 Correspondence 1/13/1893 Letter from Gustav Stark to Otto Stark; written in German 1 25 Correspondence 2/8/1893 Letter from Gustav Stark to Otto Stark; written in German 1 26 Correspondence 3/12/1915 Letter from J. Irving Holcomb to Otto Stark, informing Stark he has won a $100 prize from the Art Association of Indianapolis 1 27 Correspondence 7/20/1921 Letter from F. C. Ball of Muncie, thanking Stark for his assistance to J. O. Adams in selecting paintings for Ball's collection at the Herron School of Art; Stark paid $1,000 for his three paintings selected for the collection 1 28 Correspondence 7/22/1921 Card from Charles R. Lamb of New York to Otto Stark, commenting on Stark's picture in "American Art News" 1 29 Correspondence 5/15/1926 Letter from Leonidas F. Smith, president of the Indiana Artists Club, offering condolences on death of Otto Stark 1 30 Correspondence 4/16/1926 Letter from Hilton U. Brown to Mrs. Harry Taylor (daughter of Otto Stark?), offering condolences on the death of Otto Stark 1 31 Correspondence 4/24/1926 William Forsyth sentiments on the death of Otto Stark 1 32 Correspondence 1970 Envelopes addressed to Gretchen Stark (daughter of Otto Stark) from M. Goth of Nashville, Indiana (relative of the Starks?) 1 33 Publication 1895 Xeroxed copy of "The Evolution of Impressionism," an article by Otto Stark which appeared in "Modern Art," volume III, Spring 1895, pages 53-56 1 34 Illustrations n.d. Illustrations done by Otto Stark 1 35 Photographs n.d. Photos of Gustav and Leona (Joas) Stark; Otto Stark with daughter Gretchen; Otto Stark holding two unidentified children; two photos of Otto Stark; Otto Stark with group of people in Paris; Marie Goth, paternal aunt of Otto Stark; negatives and copies
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