The Artist

Katherine Marie Stubergh was born June 23, 1911 in San Francisco, California. Her parents were the owners of a very successful wax mannequin manufacturig company and Katherine's childhood was spent surrounded by their wonderful creations.

Katherine spent her childhood in private school in San Francisco and Los Angeles, California. She studied dance under Theodore Kosloff, Lester Horton, and Michio Ito where she dreamed of becomming a premier dancer.

In 1925 at the request of Sid Grauman of Grauman's Chinese Theater, the Stubergh family came to Los Angeles to create wax figures of prominent motion picture stars to be displayed in the forecourt of the complex. The acceptance of their work prompted the family to close the San Francisco office in 1926 and then permanently move to L.A.

Due to the family's three generations in mannequin manufacturing, Katherine, at age 21 abandoned her dancing career in order to concentrate efforts on sculpture and wax figure production. She had a partnership with her mother from 1932 to 1963, where they were known simply as "The Stuberghs."

In her career, Katherine Marie has created portraits of nearly every prominent person in the motion picture industry as well as contemporary and historical figures. She created the wounded soldiers in the railroad scene in "Gone With the Wind", the Maureen O'Hara figure in Charles Laughton's "Hunchback of Notre Dame", the wax figures in "House of Wax", the statue of Jerry Lewis and babies in "Rock-A-Bye Baby", and many others. She modeled the bronze plaque for the Douglas Fairbanks Sr. Memorial, and had many famous individuals "sit" for portrait busts such as Charles Spencer Chaplin, Albert Einstein, Mae West, John Barrymore, and Mary Pickford, to name a few.

She produced figures for all purposes, from dummies used in movie mob scenes to detailed natural likenesses for fairs and expositions. She created a great number of wax figures for the Movieland Wax Museum and the Hollywood Wax Museum.

Her greatest labor of love though was the 3-D creation wax display of Leonardo DaVinci's painting of the "Last Supper" which was first displayed in Santa Cruz, California.


continue to The "History of the Last Supper" Display