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Otto Stark (1859-1926)
Otto Stark was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1859 to a family of cabinet makers. Following a minor injury that kept him from following in his fatherís footsteps, Stark was apprenticed to a lithographer, and later studied art at the School of Design at the University of Cincinnati. Finishing School, Stark moved to New York for work as a designer and illustrator and to continue his art studies. After six years Stark had saved enough to travel to Paris to study at the Academie Julian. In 1886 Stark married a Parisian girl Marie Nitschelm. In that same year and the following, Starkís works were selected to hang in the prestigious Paris Salon.
In 1888 the Starks moved to New York where Otto worked as a commercial artist while exhibiting at the National Academy of Design. Soon after moving to Philadelphia, Marie fell ill after delivering their fourth child and died soon afterward. Faced with raising four children on his own, Stark moved back to Indianapolis to enlist the help of his family in caring for his own. Following a brief period in Cincinnati, Stark returned to Indianapolis for good in 1893, opening a studio and teaching art lessons to support his extended family.
In 1899 Stark was selected Supervisor of Art at the Manual Training High School, and in 1902 began teaching at the new Herron Art School. Stark continued to teach and profoundly influence his students until 1919, when he devoted himself exclusively to easel painting. In 1926 Otto Stark suffered a stroke while visiting his daughter, and passed away several days later.
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