Stephen Kline

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Stephen Kline
Stephen Neil Kline

(1943-12-12)December 12, 1943
EducationDrake University
Known forPainting, Drawing, Photography
Notable workFlorida State-of-the-Arts license plate, Lines of Language paintings and drawings (over 125 dog breed lithographs drawn from the breed's name).
MovementLines of Language

Stephen Kline (born 1943) is an American contemporary artist who works primarily in acrylics and ink.

Early life[edit]

Born in 1943 in Des Moines, Iowa, Kline spent his early years growing up with his parents and older sister Martha in a small house on the east side of Des Moines. As a junior in high school, he designed the senior class yearbook cover for East Des Moines High School before graduating the following year and attending Drake University,[1][2] where he studied art under Stan Hess and Leonard Good. After college, he accepted a position with former LOOK Magazine in their art department.[1]

Beginning career[edit]

In 1964, Kline moved to Omaha, Nebraska where his fine art was first accepted in a museum show: the Tenth Midwest Biennial [3] at the Joslyn Museum,[4] Omaha, Nebraska. Commercially, he moved quickly from the Omaha World Herald art department through a succession of advertising agencies,[5] landing a job with Bozell & Jacobs Advertising.

In 1973, he and his writer wife Kris Limberg Kline began Kline Photography Studios, which produced both fine arts and commercial photography. During this period, Stephen was one of the leading pioneers of panoramic photography[6][7] in multimedia. Meanwhile, he used every spare moment to pursue his fine arts career.

In 1982, they moved their family to Westfield, NJ. Kline was soon accepted as a gallery artist at Foxworth Gallery on Madison Ave.[8] in Manhattan, where his work made headlines when his provocative painting Madonna and Child caused street demonstrations in 1985,[1] It was in this period when he began combining his painting and photography into one medium. Portrait of a Painter was chosen for the 1987 New Jersey Arts Annual[9] at the Jersey City Museum, and his photo/art piece of Isaac Asimov was printed in Communicator's Journal.[10]

Art drawn from words[edit]

Two years after relocating to Ellenton, FL in 1991, Kline painted his first Lines of Language painting, signing his name over and over. Titled 3795 Signatures,[11] the abstract was chosen for the 1994 Florida National,[12] Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts, Tallahassee, Florida.

It was also in 1994 that Kline designed the Florida State of the Arts license plate.[13][14]

In 1999, Kline created his first realistic drawing using his new Lines of Language technique to create an image of Santa out of the words Season's Greetings. He had his drawing printed as a lithograph, added additional words with gold and silver applied pen-and-ink to individualize each piece, and sent them out to family, friends, business associates and patrons. The next year, when he noticed how many recipients had framed the art, he decided to use his Lines of Language technique to create his first dog lithograph.[15] Throughout the next several years, Kline has drawn over 125 breeds.



  1. ^ a b c Kamin, Blair (December 28, 1985). "Gallery pulls Iowan's Madonna painting". The Des Moines Register. p. 3. Retrieved November 1, 2022 – via
  2. ^ Heinlein, Gary (November 23, 1979). "Game Makes Sport of Middle-Class Life". Des Moines Tribune. p. 3. Retrieved November 1, 2022 – via
  3. ^ "Tenth Midwest Biennial," Joslyn Art Museum, (Exhibition Catalog) March 10, 1968, p. 13.
  4. ^ Leonard Thiessen, "Art in the Midlands: You Don't Forget Brancusi!," Sunday World Herald Magazine (Omaha, NE), 5 April 1970, p. 36.
  5. ^ "Business Topics: Kline Is Art Director," Omaha World-Herald, 19 June 1968, p. 64.
  6. ^ "Steve Kline: The Whole Is Greater Than The Parts," PENTAX life, VOL. 11 NO. 2 Summer 1989, p. 17.
  7. ^ Kris Kline Sight & Sound, photomethods (magazine), Oct. 1984, p. 35.
  8. ^ Aline Franzen, "Money Makes the World Go Round, Manhattan (magazine), Vol. 3 Number 8, p. 34.
  9. ^ "New Jersey Arts Annual - Printmaking & Photography," Jersey City Museum, (Exhibition Catalog) April 11, 1987, p. 21.
  10. ^ Isaac Asimov, "Write, Write, Write," Communicator’s Journal, Volume 1 Number 1, May/June 1983, p. 41.
  11. ^ Thurston, Susan (May 10, 2002). "Artistically evolving". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  12. ^ "1994 Florida National," Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts, (Exhibition Catalog) 1994
  13. ^ "Florida: State of the Arts," Art in America, May 1996, p. 31.
  14. ^ Eydie Cubarrubia "Art Drive," Bradenton Herald, April 2, 1996, p. 1.
  15. ^ Kris Kline, "$98,000 Bulldog," Dog & Kennel (magazine), August 2001, p. 46.

External links[edit]