Otto Lambert Grever

Otto Lambert Grever

Otto Lambert Grever: 1878-1936
Landscape and portrait painter, lithographer, and designer of theatrical posters and billboards

A fine collection of theatrical posters by American artist Otto Lambert Grever are held by the Museum of the City of New York.

The following biography of Grever was published in 2000:

Landscape and portrait painter, lithographer, and designer of theatrical posters and billboards, born in Cincinnati (Hamilton) in 1878. A son of Joseph Grever, a language instructor at Hughes High School, Grever attended the Cincinnati Art Academy from 1893 to 1895 and from 1897 to 1901, while working as a lithographer for the Henderson and Donaldson Lithograph companies. Ambidextrous, he was capable of working with both hands simultaneously, and, according to one of his relatives, “could do the work of six.” About 1904 he moved to New York, where he spent twenty years with the Miner Lithographing Company, creating posters for motion pictures and stage attractions. He died in Phoenix Arizona, January 21, 1936, a victim of tuberculosis. Twenty years later, the Museum of the City of New York exhibited thirty of his best-known posters, part of a collection of fifty-one donated by the artist’s widow. (source: Cincinnati Artists File, Cincinnati Art Museum Library)   (1.)

The Smithsonian Archive of American Art additionally holds a small archive of material on Grever. The following details of his artistic associations are from their online resource: (accessed March, 2015)

Grever, Otto Lambert, b. 1878 d. 1936 
Active in Cincinnati, Ohio
Collection size: 1.6 linear ft.

Collection Summary: Eight pencil drawings by Grever; biographical and legal papers; printed material from the Kit Kat Club, 1907-1923, and the Salmagundi Club, 1929; membership books from the Poster Artists Association of America, 1912, 1915, and 1923; photograph albums and photographs; letters of condolence upon Grever’s death; and correspondence of Grever’s widow and daughter, Barbara Grever, mainly relating to their efforts in documenting Grever’s work after his death.

Biographical/Historical Note: Theatrical poster artist, lithographer; New York, N.Y. Grever was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, May 16, 1878. He studied art at the Cincinnati Art Academy under Frank Duveneck and Vincent Nowottny. He began his career in lithography in Cincinatti, eventually settling in New York City in 1904 and working for the H.C. Miner Lithographic Co. where he specialized in theatrical posters for 29 years.

Donated by Grever’s daughter, Barbara Ann Grever, 1993-1994.

print details recto: black ink stamp in script, lower right corner of primary mount: Hellmuth


print details verso: Title: signed in black ink: Otto L. Grever

-black ink stamp:
Chas. A. Hellmuth
338 W. 22nd St.,
New York

-pasted white label for The American Federation of Arts Washington, D.C. (5.2 x 8.8 cm) :

title: Portrait Study.
Artist: Chas. A. Hellmuth.
Return Address: 338 W. 22nd St. N.Y.C.
Price: ———–

Amateur photographer Charles Hellmuth also made his living as a commercial lithographer and poster artist for the Acme Litho Company in New York City.

1.  Grever, Otto Lambert: in: ‪Jeffrey Weidman‬: Artists in Ohio, 1787-1900: A Biographical Dictionary: ‪Kent State University Press‬, 2000: p. 352

Otto Lambert Grever

Image Dimensions22.8 x 17.5 cm

Support DimensionsDetail: 26.1 x 20.1 cm | 43.2 x 35.3 cm