"The Painter of Berlin"
(October 22, 1865 - July 14, 1951)
Post-impressionist, verduta painter & graphic artist
For almost half a century, Otto Antoine was considered one of the most significant representative of cultural Berlin. He documented the Berlin of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century in countless depictions. Friends of the arts called him “The Painter of Berlin.” Continue reading
After Otto Antoine's passing in 1951, his personal collection of art was passed to his grandson, Fred Albright, who stored much of it in his Southern California home. In the early to mid 1990's Mr. Albright sold the collection to the current owners who display much of it in their California home.
Authenticity of this collection is recognized within the academic German art history community and by licensed appraisers. Dozens of important pieces are held by the German Postal Museum, The Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin Museum, the Berlin District Office of Reinickendorf, The Rhein-Chemie Holding Company in Heidelberg, and the Stiftung Stadtmuseum Foundation in Berlin.
Outside of this collection and the above reference, many of his works were lost in the turmoil of World War II. Among those were 24 oil paintings with depictions of roads, bridges, and places in Berlin which were considered important historic paintings and were stored by the city of Berlin and brought to Warthegau in the Polish territory to protect them during the war. However, a complete overview of the locations of Antoine’s works does not currently exist. The paintings Antoine created for the Postal Museum and some other works the Postal Museum acquired after World War II are currently on exhibit at the Museumsstiftung Post und Telekommunikation. This includes primarily 22 oil paintings and 16 watercolor paintings as well as drawings and colored facsimiles.
Otto Antoine was a member of the Association of Berlin Artists, which was founded in 1841. Eventually, he became an honorary member and honorary president of the association. Otto Antoine is considered one of the most significant German artists of his time. Beginning in 1897, he was regularly represented at these annual exhibitions which, during the time of the Emperor Wilhelm II, only presented works of “official” pictorial art. Initially, those were motifs of his Rhenish home country (i.e. 1900 “Abend an der Mosel” [Evening at the Moselle], 1901 “An der Loreley” [At the Loreley]), then beginning around 1911 followed by motifs mostly of Berlin. Furthermore, Antoine’s paintings were always included in the Künstlerhaus, a permanent exhibition presenting works of living artists who were members of the Association of Berlin Artists.
The obvious consideration is that this collection is vast and more importantly, 20th century post-impressionist art is rarely available for private sale or auction. Over the last 40 years the available inventory for European Masters has been depleted by museums and collectors, pushing investors towards contemporary and modern art. Conservative investors who use business models (buy low and sell high) and who typically avoid modern art due to excessive inventory, are buyers of this collection.
More importantly to the art market, in terms of investment, is that Otto Antoine has never been fully academically researched, published or promoted. This lack of publicized exposure is simply due to the unavailable works to study and promote.
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