Born in 1874 in Liebau, German Silesia, Otto Mueller’s first artistic education came in the form of a four- year apprenticeship with a lithographer. In 1894 he attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Dresden, but he was dissatisfied with the conservative instructions and he left the school after two years. During the next several years, he went to Munich where he studied with Franz von Stuck. In Berlin, Mueller met Wilhelm Lehmbruck, whose ideas about the human form had an influence on his own perception.
In 1910 Mueller submitted work to the exhibition of the Berlin Secession. When his work was rejected, he joined the members of the artist group, “Die Brücke” and, subsequently, exhibited with the New Secession and met Karl Schmidt- Rottluff, Ernst Heckel and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. To this new group, Mueller contributed his experience in lithography and his techniques in distemper painting.
Mueller experimented with mixtures of woodcut and lithography until he had the technical means of the Breslau Academy available to make true color lithographs. One of his greatest achievements as a graphic artist is said to be his, “Gypsy-Portfolio”, a portfolio of nine color lithographs made in 1927, which used as many as five stones.
Mueller served as a soldier in World War I from 1916 to 1918 and shortly after his return, he was appointed Professor at the Breslau Academy of Art, a position that he held until his death in 1930.