Karl Stirner
Chronology
1923
Born November 14 in Bad Wildbad,
Germany, youngest of five children,
to Pauline (née Gunn) and Karl Stirner.
Both families were jewelers and
precious-metalsmiths.

1927
Stirner family immigrates to the United
States (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

1934–36
Dobbins Vocational School (6 – 8 grades),
leaves school in 8th grade. As a boy, is
an avid naturalist and rope climber
(climbing at world-class speed).

1941–43
Works as an industrial designer. Studies
mechanical engineering for six months,
Drexel Institute of Art, Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania.

1943–46
Serves in the U.S. Army. In combat zones
in New Guinea and the Philippine Islands.

1946–48
Operates experimental machine shop,
designs and develops unique precision
machines and other mechanical devices
(including prototypes for a druggist’s
capsule loading machine and a
fisherman’s casting reel)

1948–57
Operates metal arts studio, designs and
makes contemporary metal furniture
and ecclesiastical items (such as lighting
fixtures, altar railings, architectural
sculpture, ornamental panels, screens,
lamps, sculptural forms, etc.)

1955
Marries Barbara Lund (1936 – 1957)
Instructor, Moore College of Art,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1956
Opens Karl Stirner Ornamental Ironworks,
Germantown, Pennsylvania
Three-person show at Iron Shop,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Group show, The Print Club, Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania —awarded the
Lessing J.
Rosenwald Prize
for his woodcut The Forces
of Time

1957– 61
Director, Metal Sculpture Department,
Tyler School of Art, Temple University,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1959
Solo Show, Delaware Museum of Art,
Wilmington, Delaware

1960
Group show, Philadelphia Museum of Art,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1962
Marries Heather Harland, with whom he
has three children: Heather (born 1962),
Noelle (born 1967), and Jonas (born 1970)
Art Instructor, Swarthmore College,
Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
1963
Solo show of fifty-two engravings,
Philadelphia Print Club, Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania
Group shows at Museum of Modern
Art, New York, New York; Pennsylvania
Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania; Philadelphia Museum of
Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


1969– 71
Designs and builds houses in Bucks
County, Pennsylvania
Travels to Mexico, studies pre-Columbian
sculpture and architecture

1969–PRESENT
Travels extensively in the U.S. and
Guatemala, Mexico, Italy, France, England,
and Turkey

1975
Group shows at Corcoran Gallery of Art,
Washington, DC; Fort Worth Museum of
Art, Fort Worth, Texas; La Jolla Museum
of Contemporary Art, La Jolla, California;
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Pratt Graphics
Center, New York, New York

1979–1981
Partner in Hartford Development
Corporation, designing and creating
Hartford Square, an adaptive reuse of a
former industrial property

1982
Co-founder, Stirner-Unangst Gallery,
New York, New York
Lives in Brooklyn, makes many drawings

1983
Moves to Easton, Pennsylvania. In his
“Easton Arts Building,” a former
warehouse and sewing factory at 230 Ferry
St., Stirner establishes his home and opens
the Karl Stirner Gallery, as well as art
studios, a dance studio, and commercial
spaces for development. Over the next
seventeen years, he pioneers the growth
of an arts community in Easton and in
September 2000 is honored by the city
for his successful efforts with the official
declaration of “Karl Stirner Month.”
Curator, “Robert Ranieri,” inaugural
exhibition at Karl Stirner Gallery. Among
other solo exhibitions at the gallery for
which Stirner was the curator are Paul
Matthews (1984), Robert Whitley (1984),
Larry Fink (1984), and Sally Shearer
Swenson (1985).
Meets Gay Elwell

1984
Receives first
Historic Easton
Preservation Award
Co-founder, Easton Auction Company

1985
African Art from the Karl Stirner Collection,
Cedar Crest College, Allentown,
Pennsylvania
Returns to making art full time
1987
Seventeen-foot monumental sculpture,
Victory, installed at the University of
Connecticut Health Center, Farmington,
Connecticut

1990
Two-person show, Fairleigh Dickinson
University, Hackensack, New Jersey

1993
Solo show, The Gallery at the State Theater
Center for the Arts, Easton, Pennsylvania

1995
Group show, Grounds for Sculpture,
Hamilton, New Jersey

1999
Solo show, Everhart Museum,
Scranton, Pennsylvania

2000
Solo show, Allentown Art Museum,
Allentown, Pennsylvania

2001
Solo show, James A. Michener Art
Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania
Solo show, Hunterdon Art Museum,
Clinton, New Jersey

2002
First International Steel and Iron Sculpture
Festival in Kaohsiung
, Taiwan
Group show, Janos Pannonius Museum,
Pécs, Hungary

2004
Pratt Institute Sculpture Park,
Brooklyn, New York

2006
Solo show, Allentown Art Museum,
Allentown, Pennsylvania

2005
Solo show, Tufts University Art Gallery,
Medford, Massachusetts

2008
Organizes the exchange exhibition
Genova
Meets Easton
, American Art Festival,
Genoa, Italy

2010
Marries Gay Elwell (1958 – 2012)

2011
Dedication of
Karl Stirner Arts Trail in
Easton, Pennsylvania

2013
Solo show, Payne Gallery, Moravian
College, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Solo Show, James A. Michener Art
Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania