Born in Holland, Cornelis Botke studied at the Haarlem School for Applied Design before immigrating to the U.S. in 1906. Settling in Chicago, Botke maintained a studio and continued his studies at the Art Institute of Chicago, where he met his future wife, the art student Jessie Arms. In 1919 the Botkes moved to Carmel, California, where Cornelis taught at Carmel Arts and Crafts. Following a tour through Europe, the couple ultimately settled on a ranch in Santa Paula, California, where the couple built a studio they could share.
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