Gene, as friends called him, studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Chicago and the Art Students League in New York before traveling to Europe where he developed a personal style decidedly his own. It was while painting and continuing his studies in Paris that he met Annette Parker, a native of Boston, who was studying music there at that time. They were married in Paris on May 3, 1930. After Anne finished her studies in Paris, the couple moved to New York for several years during which Anne performed at the celebrated Rainbow room at Rockefeller Center as an accomplished pianist. Several years later, the Otto’s moved back to Key West, where Anne dedicated her time to more domestic aspects of life at 534 Eaton Street, their home for the next 40 years. Gene died in 1974, and Anne two years later, but they live on in his art and in their beautiful and beloved house and garden. The spirit and the influence of Gene and Anne and the entire Otto family are still very much a part of the fabric and foundation of The Artist House, and the City of Key West as well. The building, antiques, garden, and “spirit” of The Artist House are a treasure for everyone to enjoy.
Over the years the Artist House has been the focus of several enchanting stories. We can’t vouch for all the stories but they have made the rounds in Key West and around the globe. Every so-called “encounter” was friendly and either involved the “spirit” of Anne or Gene’s stuffed doll and alter ego friend Robert, (See here).
EXCERTS FROM KEY WEST CITIZEN, SEPTEMBER 24, 1997 – WRITTEN BY RAMON RIOS, KEY WEST CITIZEN REPORTER – A GHOST OF A CHANCE – SOME KEY WEST HOUSES HAVE GUESTS WHO AREN’T EXACTLY EARNING THEIR LIVING!!!
If you rent the turret room at The Artist House, you’ll find all the usual modern conveniences, and if you’re lucky, you may spot a distinctly unmodern inconvenience. All is well as you relax on the ample king size bed, then – quietly, a semblance of a beautiful women walks down the meandering staircase in her wedding dress. A ghost in the room! If apparitions and the strange pique your interest you are not alone.
The Discovery Channel was intrigued enough to feature the Artist House on a program called “Would you Believe It” It reported that Anne has been seen descending the turret room staircase. She was described as beautiful and wearing her wedding dress.
For more information, please visit:
Text Quoted From:
Unknown. (2011). Robert The Doll. The Artist House. Retrieved October 18, 2011 from http://www.artisthousekeywest.com/about/key-west-hotel-history/.
Unknonw. (2011). History. The Artist House. Retrieved October 18, 2011 from http://www.artisthousekeywest.com/about/key-west-hotel-history/.