The Last Supper Display
In 1498 Leonardo DiVinci created what is arguably one of the most inspired works of art ever to be painted; The Last Supper”. It’s masterful depiction of Jesus with his disciples at the creation of the communion covenant is an eternal reminder of the promise of salvation that exists for everyone who believes in the Lord.
In 1950, inspirited by this work, famed wax sculpture Katherine Sturbergh set about to recreate this vision in a full size three dimensional dioramas that would bring this pivotal moment in Christianity to life.
The result was a masterpiece of sculpture and setting that has delighted and touched the lives of the thousands who have had the opportunity to view it.
The Christian Arts Museum is proud to be the permanent home to this important piece of art and hopes its message will continue to touch lives for generations to come.
The History of the Last Supper Display
The beginning of the “Last Supper” display began in the 1920s as an idea in the mind of Katherine Stubergh’s mother. At that time, she was asked if it was possible to create a full-size replication of the famous Di’Vinci painting. Through trial and error, she created the first of what was to be five displays of this magnificent piece.
The display to be housed here in the Christian Arts Museum is one of the two remaining commissions still intact in its original form. This piece was initially commissioned in the 1950s by Forth Worth oil tycoon William Fleming as a “gift to all Christians”. The display had its debut in 1956 at the Ridglea Shopping Center in West Forth Worth, where it remained until 1965. It was then displayed in the Heritage Hall until 1971 and then at the Southern Baptist Radio and Television building until 1997.
It was then returned to the Walsh Foundation, which was established by the Flemming family until such a time as a permanent home for the masterful work could be found.
The Christian Arts Commission took up the challenge in 2004 and has been diligently working to raise funds for the construction of the Christian Arts Museum where the “Last Supper” Display can, at last, find a home.
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.