Otto Stark Collection, 1887-1970


Accession A90-12
Collection Mss 075


Table of Contents


Historical Note

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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Scope and Content Note

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 and Folder Inventory


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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Last updated by bburk on 07/05/2010