Lee Sturges Biography

Lee Sturges

American

1865-1954

Biography

Printmaker Lee Sturges was born in Chicago, Illinois on August 13, 1865. He attended the Markham Academy in Milwaukee, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. While pursuing art, Sturges made his living in the family manufacturing business, the Chicago Stamping Company. In 1921 he founded his own, the Sturges and Burn Manufacturing Company. A tireless innovator, he was awarded patents for twenty inventions, including the personal-sized etching press. Some credit this invention--with its accessibility and relative affordability--with renewing interest in the art of etching.

In the meantime, Sturges had added a studio to the home, "Shadeland", that he had built with his wife Mary Allen in Elmhurst. Working and exhibiting steadily, by the 1920s he had established himself nationally and internationally. He was known for his delicately detailed etchings of cities, towns, and landscapes throughout the Midwest and East Coast. He won the Logan Award of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1923, and had a solo exhibition in 1927 at the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Most of his works were created between 1920 and 1940, with over 400 etchings listed in his complete works. He is included in the collections of the Smithsonian Institution, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the California State Library, among others.

Sturges moved to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, in 1953. He died in 1954.