"I am Welsh by ancestry, German by birth, an American by adoption, and Southern by choice."
-Steffen Thomas

Bio

1906

• Born Fürth, Bavaria, Germany

1920-1923

• Apprenticed as stone carver - sculptor

1924

• Completed courses in Drawing and Sculpture, School of Applied Arts, Nürnberg (Nuremberg), under the tutelage of Professors Widmer and Rumelin.

1925-1928

• Studied Classical Sculpture, Academy of Fine Arts, Munich, with Professors Herman Hahn, Joseph Wakerle, and Bernhard Bleeker.

• Studied architecture at Munich Technical School and anatomy at University of Munich’s Medical School.

• Awarded Master Student status and a Certificate of Recognition in 1927.

• Exhibited regularly at the Glaspalast (Glass Palace) in Munich, where he won awards for sculpture and had his art displayed with works by Modern Art Masters, such as Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, and Munch.

1928

• Came to the USA to work as a sculptor on Mar-a-Lago, the Palm Beach estate of E. F. Hutton and Marjorie Merriweather Post. (Estate now owned by Donald Trump, who operates it as the Mar-a-Lago Club)

1929

• Returned to Germany briefly, and then came back to USA to establish himself as a sculptor.

• Completed several portrait commissions in Alabama

1930

• Opened his first professional studio in Atlanta, GA, established himself as a sculptor, and began receiving commissions for public sculpture.

1933

• Married Sara Douglass, a City of Atlanta school teacher.

1935

• Became an American Citizen

1939-1941

• National Youth Administration (NYA), art supervisor for Georgia, under the WPA.

1941-1972

• Moved from Atlanta to Stone Mountain, GA, raised four children, built large studio, house and sculpture garden

• Completed many public sculptures, several on monumental scale

• By mid 1950’s began devoting himself to creative art, working in many media

1973-1989

• Moved with his wife Sara back to Atlanta

• Continued to work on a smaller scale in sculpture, painting, drawing and printmaking

1990

• Died on January 27, 1990

Public Collections, Exhibitions, and Awards

1920s

  • Glaspalast (Glass Palace), Munich, invited to exhibit his sculpture many times
  • Academy of Fine Arts, Munich, Award of Excellence for Laboré, a sculpture of a mother and children

1930s

  • Berry College Museum Collection, Rome, GA, marble bust of Martha Berry
  • Georgia State Capitol Rotunda, Atlanta, marble bust of Moina Michael, the Poppy Lady
  • Tuskegee Institute, bronze bust of George Washington Carver (now at the Carver Museum, Tuskegee University)
  • Piedmont Park Collection, Atlanta, Pioneer Women, bronze plaque
  • High Museum, Atlanta, exhibition

1940s

  • National Youth Administration, Georgia, Plow Boy and Youth, monumental plaster sculptures
  • Georgia State College for Women, bust of Chief Justice Richard B. Russell
  • State Capitol Building, Atlanta, US Senator Hoke Smith, bronze plaque
  • University of Georgia, Chancellor Charles M. Snelling, bronze bust
  • University of Georgia, Sanford Stadium, Chancellor S. V. Sanford, bronze bust
  • Scottish Rite Hospital, Decatur, GA, Dr. Michael Hoke, bronze plaque
  • State Capitol Building, Atlanta, Charles H. Herty, bronze bust
  • Atlanta University, Atlanta, Dr. John Hope, bronze bust
  • State Capitol Grounds, Atlanta, GA, Eugene Tallmadge Memorial, colossal bronze on granite base
  • Young Harris College, North Georgia, Dr. Joseph A. Sharp, bronze bust

1950s

  • Vicksburg National Military Park, Vicksburg, MS, Alabama Memorial
  • Courthouse, Vienna, GA, bust Senator Walter F. George
  • Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC, exhibited
  • High Museum, Atlanta, Southeastern Art Show, exhibited
  • Sculptor’s Society, NYC, exhibited
  • Fulton National Bank Lobby, Atlanta, Robert Fulton, Fulton Steamboat, and Atlanta City Hall, cast aluminum murals
  • West Point Military Academy Collection, West Point, NY, Class of 1915 Monument
  • State Capitol Building, Atlanta, bust Governor John M. Slaton

1960s

  • Emory University, Atlanta, exhibition
  • Jens Rison, Decorative Arts Center, Atlanta, exhibition
  • High Museum of Art Permanent Collection, Atlanta, St. Francis and the Wolf of Gubbio, bronze

1970s

  • Lord and Taylor Art Gallery, Atlanta, exhibition
  • Agnes Scott College Permanent Collection, Decatur, GA, Mother and Child, over life size marble, selection of small sculptures and paintings
  • Fulton County Collection (Roswell Library Grounds), Atlanta, Reclining Madonna and Child, marble
  • Callanwolde Arts Center Permanent Collection, Atlanta, Bird of Prey, limestone carving; Girl on a Motorcycle, limestone carving; and selected paintings
  • Dodd Art Center Permanent Collection, LaGrange College, LaGrange, GA, selected paintings, drawings, and prints
  • Ty Cobb Museum Permanent Collection, Royston, GA, Ty Cobb, drawing
  • Museum of Arts and Science Collection, Macon, GA, selected sculptures, paintings and drawings
  • City of Atlanta Collection and Urban Design Award, Trilon, welded copper fountain sculpture
  • Warm Springs Hospital Campus, Warm Springs, GA, FDR, monumental concrete head
  • Museum of the City of Mobile Permanent Collection, Mobile, AL, Alabama Memorial, plaster model
  • St. Johns Museum of Art, Wilmington, NC, exhibition

1980s

  • St. Johns Museum of Art, Wilmington, NC, Freedom of the Figure, traveling exhibition
  • Bryant Galleries, New Orleans and Jackson, MS, exhibitions
  • St. Johns Museum of Art Permanent Collection (now Cameron Art Museum), Wilmington, NC, selected works
  • Albany Museum of Art Permanent Collection, Albany, GA, Sowing the Seeds, painting
  • Southern Company, selected as feature artist for a national ad campaign
  • Gwinnett Council for the Arts Permanent Collection (now Hudgens Center for the Arts), Duluth, GA, selected sculpture and paintings
  • Georgia Governor’s Award in the Arts, for lifetime achievement in the arts

1990s

  • Publication of Art of Steffen Thomas, by Alan Aiches and Anthony Janson, catalogue for traveling exhibition.
  • Broome Street Gallery, NYC, Art of Steffen Thomas, exhibition
  • Lauren Rodgers Museum, Laurel, MS, Art of Steffen Thomas, exhibition
  • Museum of Arts and Sciences, Macon, GA, exhibition
  • SCAD, Savannah, GA, exhibition
  • Hudgens Center for the Arts, Duluth, GA, exhibition