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Steegman: The Papers of John Steegman

Reference Code: GBR/0272/STE

Scope and Contents

The collection contains published and unpublished writings by Steegman, including broadcasts, diaries and correspondence.


  • Creation: 1700 - 1965


Conditions Governing Use

All enquiries concerning permission to quote in print from any of Steegman's writings, published or unpublished, should be addressed to the Archivist, King's College, Cambridge, CB2 1ST.

Biographical / Historical

John Edward Horatio Steegmann (later Steegman) was born on 10 Dec. 1899; his father, E. J. Steegmann was a bacteriologist. He was educated at Clifton College, and served in the Royal Field Artillery for a short time before coming up to King’s College in 1919. During his time at King’s, Steegman was a cox for the college boat club. He graduated in 1921 with an Ordinary Degree in History and Modern Languages.

After a few years of travelling tutorships and work as an art and drama critic, he was employed at the National Portrait Gallery from 1926 to 1945, with a short break during the war years when he was lecturing for the British Council and organised the Sala de l’Alianca at the Lisbon Centenaries Exhibition. From 1945 he was Keeper of the Department of Art at the National Museum of Wales, then in 1952 he became Director of the Museum of Fine Arts in Montreal. After his resignation in 1959 he spent half of each year travelling and lecturing abroad and half of the year in London entertaining friends. He died on 15 April 1966 at Coffinswell, Devon.

Honours: OBE, 1952 Publications: several books on art and art history, including ‘The Rule of Taste’, 1936.


1 collection (4 boxes and 0.5 shelf) : paper

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

John Steegman bequeathed his papers to King's College at his death in 1966.


For biographical details of John Steegman, the reader is referred to the 'Annual Report' of King's College, Cambridge, November 1966, pp.56-7.


This catalogue was completed by Jacky Cox in April 1997, and was edited for publication over the internet by Elizabeth Pridmore in January 2004.

Date information

DateText: Mainly 1900-1965.


Steegman, John (1899-1966)

2003-03-21 10:41:17+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Archive Centre, King's College, Cambridge Repository

King's College
Cambridge CB2 1ST United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 331444