"The Painter of Berlin"
October 22, 1865: Otto Antoine was born in Coblenz, Germany.
1891: Moved to Berlin and studied under Franz Skarbina at the Art Academy.
1892-1932: Otto Antoine’s work was regularly shown at the “Grosse Berliner
Kunstausstellung” during the summer months. Works included local churches,
bridges, buildings, parks, castles, and the people of Berlin. He became widely known
as the “Painter of Berlin” and much of his major work was commissioned by the City of
Berlin and the postal service. Many pieces are still displayed at the Berlin City Hall
and National Postal Museum. Otto also traveled to France, Italy and other European
countries to show his work and promote Berlin.
According to Fred Albright, Otto's grandson, his career as a painter was booming and
his status allowed him access to Berlin's social elite. Otto was one of the few artists
who successfully earned a comfortable living while doing what he loved.
1932-1933: Otto's work was selected by Berlin's art council to be displayed at the
Chicago World's Fair under the German flag. Many of his works promoted Berlin's
progressive culture, architecture and infustructre.
1933: Adolph Hitler came to power. Fred Albright recalled his Grandfather's horrifying
stories of the Nazis burning books and art in Berlin. Mr. Albright said Otto Antoine,
like most Germans, listened in disbelief as propaganda minister Josef Goebbels
ordered all "decadent" art to be delivered to various locations and destroyed.
Unfortunately some of Antoine’s work was deemed “decadent.” Otto Antoine was in
his late 60's and early 70's during this period.
According to Albright, his Grandfather continued painting in the 1930's although he
discovered many of his well-known pieces were removed from the Berlin City Hall,
local churches and businesses. Other pieces were destroyed in a fire at the
Reichstag, the seat of the German parliament.
1942: Bombs and fires destroyed Otto Antoine’s home and about the same time,
Nazis seriously injured him. Mr. Albright said his Grandfather retaliated by painting
several pieces that depicted Hitler as the devil. According to Albright, Nazis or other
Hitler officials discovered one of the paintings and ordered Antoine's death. He and
his wife fled to Lake Constance where he continued to paint the lake, mountains and
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whereabouts of the "Hitler as the Devil" paintings. If you have any information please
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1950: On his 85th birthday, he was honored by the City of Berlin with a display of his
work titled “Berlin as it was.”
1951: Otto Antoine died at 85 years old.
Much of Otto Antoine’s life remains unknown and never researched.