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Bernet, Otto

American, 1881 - 1945


The co-founder, vice president and director of the Parke-Bernet Galleries, Swiss-born Otto Bernet began his career as an office boy at New York's American Art Association. He studied art appreciation and voice culture in night school, enabling him to rise quickly to the rank of auctioneer and appraiser in 1908. By 1923, Bernet had become Vice-President and Director: he retained this position when the Association merged in 1929 with Anderson Galleries. Eight years later, most of the staff, officers, and directors, including Hiram H. Parke, withdrew from the firm and established the Parke-Bernet Galleries, of which Otto Bernet was, of course, a leading stockholder. Bernet died at the age of 64, after a year's illness. At the time he was survived by his two children [by his first wife, who died in 1918], Harold and Margaret (Mrs. Margaret Bernet Juncker), and by his second wife, Ada Byron. [Compiled from sources and references recorded on CMS]


[Obituary]. Art News 44 (1 November, 1945): 9.
"Otto Bernet Dies; Expert on Art, 64." The New York Times. Sunday, 14 October 1945.
Norton, Thomas E. [Foreword by Douglas Dillon]. 100 Years of Collecting in America; The Story of Sotheby Parke Bernet. New York, 1984

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