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 Bernard Joseph Steffen  (1907 - 1980)

About: Bernard Joseph Steffen
 

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Lived/Active: New York/Kansas      Known for: genre-rural, landscape, collage, serigraph

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born Neodesha, Nov. 24, 1907; died Flushing, NY, July 1980. Painter, specialized in rural scenes and landscapes. Printmaker. Studied at the Kansas City Art Institute, the Art Students League, the Los Angeles Art Students League, and the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Lived in Neodesha in 1930 and later in Woodstock, NY. Steffen took a rural sensibility to New York, where he studied under Thomas Hart Benton at the Art Students League. Was a Works Progress Administration muralist from 1934-1941 where he focused on landscape and eschewed the romance and narrative that marked the Regionalists. Steffen painted the mural, “Neodesha First Inhabitants”, for the Neodesha Post Office in 1938.Taught at the school of the National Serigraph Society, an organization founded in 1940 to promote screen printing. His style changed in the late 1950s from realistic to abstract. Author of the 1963 book, Silk Screen.
Source:
AWARDS:
Gardener purchase prize, Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition, 1940.

MEMBERSHIPS:
American Artists Congress; Woodstock Art Association.

SOURCES:
Susan Craig, "Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945)"
Wiebe, Joanna K. “Kansans Cared About their New Deal Art”, in Wichita Eagle Beacon, May 21, 1972. p.1E & 7E-----. “Local Legends Live in Art”, in Wichita Eagle Beacon, May 22, 1972. p.1A & 3A-----. “Age Enhances Fort Scott Mural”, in Wichita Eagle Beacon, May 23, 1972. p.1A & 8A-----. “Halstead Legend Perpetuated”, in Wichita Eagle Beacon, May 24, 1972. p.1A & 16A -----. “Scenics, Murals and Lithographs Included in Kansas New Deal Art”, in Wichita Eagle Beacon, May 25, 1972. p.15A.; Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition (Kansas City: Kansas City Art Institute, 1920-1942 Mines, Cynthia. For the Sake of Art: The Story of an Art Movement in Kansas. s.l. Mines, 1979.) 1930-31, 1936; Bruner, Ronald Irwin. New Deal Art Workers in Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska. Thesis. University of Denver, 1979.; AskArt, www.askart.com, accessed Dec. 23 2005;
This and over 1,750 other biographies can be found in Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945) compiled by Susan V. Craig, Art & Architecture Librarian at University of Kansas.

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