Otto Hellmeier

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Otto Hellmeier (German, 1908-1996) noted German impressionist painter primarily known for his oil landscapes, cityscapes, marine scenes & coastal views, mountainviews & towns/villages, winterscapes, figurative works & nudes, portraits and floral still lifes. Hellmeier was born December 4, 1908 in Weilheim, Germany to father Weilheimer Hellemier, a post office clerk and mother Barbara Hellmeier. He first studied engineering and after graduating he studied piano and clarinet at the Munich Conservatory of Music while working as a freelance musician playing in various well-known orchestras in Germany and was also known as a soloist for Bavarian Radio.

During WWII, he was employed in the mobile theater company and at first he only painted as a hobby. As his interest in painting grew, he decided to study with Carl Otto Müller and Prof. Wilhelm Funk, as well as with the noted Swedish painter Anders Leonard Zorn before dedicating himself exclusively to painting at the age of fifty. He traveled and painted throughout Germany, Austria, France, Italy and Switzerland and was a long time member of the Königlich priviligierte Münchener Künstlergenossenschaft (MKG) founded in 1868 (Royal Privileged Munich Artists’ Association). In addition to a studio in Munich, Hellmeier later built his home and studio in Raisting, Bavaria, Germany and preferred painting scenes of his Upper Bavarian homeland along with  Mediterranean views, portraits and figure painting. From 1944 on, he regularly exhibited his paintings in the Haus der Kunst in Munich, and since 1974, he served as an exhibition jurist and board member for the MKG. Hellmeier also taught painting and was friends with painter Edward Harrison Compton. Hellmeier passed away in December, 1996.

In 1996, the Kulturhaus der Otto Hellmeier Stiftung (Culture House of the Otto Hellmeier Foundation) was founded in Raisting, Germany. The museum preserves Hellmeier’s estate and legacy by exhibiting and promoting not only his work, but that of other artists. In addition, they also help contribute to cultural variety and monetary donations for the support, research and treatment of cancer and diabetes. The museum has a permanent exhibit of Hellmeier’s work on the lower floor and the central wing of the building has a gallery for temporary exhibitions of contemporary painters. Along with his paintings, the museum also maintains several of his instruments and mementos from artist friends in their permanent collection. An illustrated book about the life and work of Otto Hellmeier presents the artist’s oeuvre in nearly 100 illustrations. Purchases were made by the Städtische Galerie in Munich, by the “Friends of the House of Art” and his works are in numerous private and public collection at home and abroad.

(Written, compiled & translated by Mark Strong of Meibohm Fine Arts, Inc., East Aurora, NY, 14052)