Otto Baer

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Otto Baer (German-American, 1903-1960) artist primarily known for his landscapes in oil and watercolor, and pen & ink drawings, pastel, charcoal, lithographs, etchings and ceramic tile painting. Otto was born in Idar, Germany in 1903 and had two brothers, Emil and Hugo Baer. He attended the Fine Arts Academy in Hanau, Hesse, Germany and the Art Institute in Pforzheim, Germany for jewelry design. He immigrated to the United States circa 1922 and settled in Buffalo, NY residing at 703 W. Ferry Street.

After retiring from his wholesale jewelry business in 1952 (Otto Baer Inc./United Jewelry Co.), Otto turned to painting and took several art classes at the Art Institute of Buffalo under David Foster Pratt (American, 1918-2010), and Robert Noel Blair (American, 1912-2003) at the Albright Art Gallery, as well as privately. He also took art appreciation classes for many years with Curator of Education Roger Squire (American, 1899-1980) at the Albright Art Gallery.


Otto's Trademark logo stamp
for United Jewelry Co., that he
applied for and had used on
jewelry items, since 1945
(not including watches).


His first exhibition was in 1954. He was a member of the Buffalo Society of Artists and exhibited with them at their 62nd Annual Exhibition in 1957, and was also past president of the Patteran Society of Buffalo. He was awarded 3rd prize earlier that same year for an exhibition held at the Tony Sisti Galleries in Buffalo. Otto married Rose (née Fried) Baer and they resided at 175 North Street in Buffalo, NY. He worked for many years as a jeweler and designer operating out of Buffalo's Jackson Building until his retirement in 1952. On July 10, 1960, Otto died of a heart attack at the age of fifty-eight while visiting for the weekend in Lenox, MA with wife and two sons at the Edgewood Motel. He is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery, Buffalo, NY.

Chronology & Select Exhibitions:

1903- Born.

Circa 1922- Immigrated to the United States from Idar, Germany and had two brothers, Emil and Hugo. Otto settled in Buffalo, NY redsiding at 703 W. Ferry St.

1952- Retired from his jewelry business and took up painting while attending several art classes at the Art Institute of Buffalo under David Foster Pratt (American, 1918-2010.

From 1952-c.1957- Took regular art appreciation classes with Curator of Education Roger Squire (American, 1899-1980) at the Albright Art Gallery.

1954- Had first exhibition, group show, "20th Annual Western New York Artists Exhibition", Buffalo, NY.

1955- Took painting classes with Robert Noel Blair (American, 1912-2003) at the Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, as well as privately. April, exhibited, group show (1st Honorable Mention), "Spring Show of the Buffalo Society of Artists", Hotel Statler, Buffalo, NY. December-January, exhibited, group show, “48th Annual Exhibition of Small Paintings”, for the painting “Trees in the Spring”, Buffalo Society of Artists, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1956- October 7-27, Exhibited, solo show, 30 paintings shown, Coffee Encores Gallery, Buffalo, NY. October 10-?, exhibited, group show, "Fall Show of the Patteran Society", for a seascape watercolor painting, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. December 2-31, exhibited, group show, "Annual Small Paintings Show of the Buffalo Society of Artists", for the painting "Michigan Bridge", Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1957- January, exhibited, group show, "Exhibit of Drawings & Sculpture by The Patteran Society of Artists", series of pencil sketches shown dealing with musicians, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. January, exhibited, group show (3rd place prize $10), “Art for All”, Tony Sisti Galleries, Sponsored by the Sisterhood of the Suburban Congregation for Reform Judaism, Buffalo, NY. March 3-?, exhibited, group show ($350- Purchase Prize), "7th Annual National Exhibition of the Sarasota Art Association", for the watercolor painting "Waterfall", which was donated to the Association for their permanent collection by the Sarasota County Chamber of Commerce, Sarasota, Florida. March 7-April 14, exhibited, group show, "23rd Annual Western New York Artists Exhibition", oil painting & watercolor shown, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. March 20-31, exhibited, solo show, "Paintings and Drawings", Crane-Elmwood Library, Buffalo, NY. April 17-29, exhibited, group show, "Annual Spring Show of the Patteran Society", painting "High Noon" shown, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group show, “62 Annual Exhibition of the Buffalo Society of Artists”, for the painting “Canal Bridge”, signed & dated lower left 1956, oil on board, 18 x 24”, Buffalo, NY. May 6-19, exhibited, group show, "23rd Annual Exhibition of the Boston Society of Independent Artists", for painting "Orchestra", Boston University School of Fine Arts, Boston, MA.

1958- March 31-April 30, exhibited, group show, "Annual Spring Exhibition of the Buffalo Society of Artists", for the painting "Blue Reflections", Erie County Savings Bank Galleries, Buffalo, NY. October 26-November 9, Exhibited, group show, "First Annual Art Exhibit Sponsored by the Women's Medical Auxiliary of Niagara County", King Gallery, 655 Main St., Niagara Falls, NY.

1959- April 12-25, exhibited, group show, Patteran Society Show, in the Club Rooms of the Junior League of Buffalo, Inc., Buffalo, NY. June, exhibited, juried group show, “2nd Annual Exhibition of the Kenmore Art Society”, held at the Kenmore YMCA, juried by Gordon Smith, director of the Albright Art Gallery, Martha Vissert’Hooft, and Dr. Robert Squeri, professor of Fine Arts at State Teachers’ College, Kenmore, NY. July 30-August, 2, exhibited, group show, 'Watercolors by the Patteran Society', for the painting "Cascading Planes", Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group show, "National Exhibition", Chautauqua, NY.

1960- February, Otto traveled to Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris. April 30-May 31, Exhibited, group show (Prize), "65th Annual Exhibition of the Buffalo Society of Artists", Junior league gallery, 595 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY. Spring, traveled on a tour of Europe and Israel. July 10, died of a heart attack at the age of fifty-eight in Lenox, MA and is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery, Buffalo, NY.


1961- Exhibited, memorial show, "Otto Baer Memorial Art Show, Garin Galleries, division of Buffalo Picture Frame, 150 Allen St., Buffalo, NY.

Exhibited Other: Art Institute of Artists, Buffalo, NY; Jewish Center, Buffalo, NY; "Eighth Annual Exhibit of the Knickerbocker Artists", Riverside Museum, New York City; and Youngstown, Ohio "Summer Show".

Memberships/Associations: The Buffalo Society of Artists, Buffalo, NY; Patteran Society of Buffalo (twice past president 1958-1959), Buffalo, NY.; Sisti Galleries (chairman & treasurer), Buffalo, NY; American Federation of Arts; Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, Buffalo, NY; Montefiore Club, Buffalo, NY; Sarasota Art Association, Sarasota, FL.

Awards/Honors: 1st Honorable Mention, "Spring Show of the Buffalo Society of Artists", Hotel Statler, Buffalo, NY 1955; $350- Purchase Prize, for the painting "Waterfall", at the "7th Annual National Exhibition of the Sarasota Art Association", which was donated to the Association for their permanent collection by the Sarasota County Chamber of Commerce, Sarasota, FL; May Ro Galleries Merchandise Award, for the oil painting "Mayfairlane", at the "65th Annual Exhibition of the Buffalo Society of Artists", Buffalo, NY 1960.

Collections: Permanent Collection of the Sarasota Art Association, for the painting "Waterfall", which won the $350- Purchase Prize at the "7th Annual National Exhibition of the Sarasota Art Association", Sarasota, FL, 1957.

(Rewritten by Mark Strong of Meibohm Fine Arts, Inc., East Aurora, NY, 04/2011 [updated 12/2017], www.meibohmfinearts.com, Sources: Too long to list and are furnished upon request.)
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