Janis Karlis Sternbergs Biography

Janis Karlis Sternbergs

Latvian American



Janis Karlis Sternbergs was born in Liepaja, Latvia on February 19, 1900. He studied at the Art Academy in Riga and was mentored in engraving under Ferdinand Schuernboeck in Vienna. After traveling and working throughout Russia, Germany, and England, Sternbergs returned to Riga where he worked as an engraver for the Mint and Printing Shop for Government Papers of Latvia.

Sternbergs attended the Special Army Education Center in Nurenberg, Germany between 1945 and 1949, before emigrating to the United States. He enrolled at the University of Kentucky in 1949 and taught at Kentucky State College in Frankfort, KY between 1964 and 1967.

In 1965 Janis Sternbergs made a few playful lines in some sand on his studio table and was struck by the image he had created. A photograph of this confluence of shadows showed what seemed to be a great earth sculpture of vast depth and breadth. So began an art form which united the talents and skills of engraver, sculptor, painter, and photographer. And when Sternbergs added color effects to his images by use of photo-screen process printing, he employed the skills of still another medium—one in which he is a recognized master. 

Among his exhibitions was a retrospective of his work at the University of Kentucky Art Gallery in 1969; and the 1st Annual Dallas Print Exhibition, June 7, 1953.

Janis Karlis Sternbergs died on June 1 of 1981 in Dallas, Texas.