Stephen Kline: Artist Biography

Early life

Born in Des Moines, Iowa, Stephen 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. He then attended Drake University where he studied art under Stan Hess and Leonard Goode. After college, he accepted a position with former LOOK Magazine in their art department.

Beginning career

In 1964, Kline moved to Omaha, NE, where his fine art was first accepted in a museum show: the Tenth Midwest Biennial at the Joslyn Museum, Omaha, Nebraska. Commercially, he moved quickly from the Omaha World Herald art department through a succession of advertising agencies, 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 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. in Manhattan, where his work made headlines when his provocative painting Madonna and Child caused street demonstrations in 1985. 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 at the Jersey City Museum, and his photo/art piece of Isaac Asimov was printed in Communicator’s Journal.

Art drawn from words

Two years after relocating to Florida in 1991, Kline painted his first Lines of Language painting, signing his name over and over. Titled 3795 Signatures, the abstract was chosen for the 1994 Florida National, 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.

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. Throughout the next several years, Kline has drawn over 110 breeds.



2004 Stars & Stripes, Hillsborough County Permanent Collection purchase

2002 The Chess Player, Board of County Commissioners, Office of County Attorney, Hillsborough Permanent Collection purchase

2001 The Solicitor, Permanent Collection purchase, Hillsborough Public Art

1995 Photography Grant Award: TAMPA WORKS, corporately funded in part by TECO

1994 Created the Florida State of the Arts license plate, generating ten million dollars for the arts


2003 Pasco-Hernando Community College, November-Dec

2002 KLINE, November, Washington, DC, Dr. Kenny/Thanos ABC News Sponsored Exhibit

2001 KLINE, May, Cohosted by Emeline C. Acton and the Hillsborough County Attorney’s Office

1999 A.E. Bean Backus Gallery and Museum, FL

1997 The Pasco Arts Center, Jan 12 thru Feb 3, FL

1996 Capitol Gallery, Florida State Capitol, Tallahassee, FL

1984 Foxworth Gallery, New York City, NY


1994 The Florida National, FSU Museum of Fine Arts, Tallahassee, FL

1987 New Jersey Arts Annual (Photography), Jersey City Museum, Jersey City, NJ

1968 Tenth Midwest Biennial, Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, NE


2013 exhibition

1997 FL Competitive Exhibition, Center for the Arts, Vero Beach, FL

1995 15th Annual FL Center for Contemporary Art Members Show

1995 Annual Artists of Florida Exhibit, Sarasota Art Center

1993 13th Annual FL Center for Contemporary Art Members Show

1992 Invitational, Jersey City Museum, Jersey City, NJ

1990 U.S.S.R. Guest Artist sponsored by TAWA, Trenton, NJ

1990 New Jersey Center for Visual Arts, Summit, NJ


2010 Issue 45 Canine Collectables Courier (Article)

2003 St. Petersburg Times (Article)

1997 SENSE AND NONSENSE, 4th Edition (Drawings)

1996 Art in America, May (Front Page)

1993 Justin Vineyards (Artist’s Label Series)

1993 Tampa Tribune, July (Review)

1984 Art & Oxygen, Winter (Article)

1983 Artspeak, June (Review)

1982 Communicator’s Journal, Cover Paintings (3)


27 Fortune 500 Companys’ Annual Reports. National and International Corporations’ Advertising Campaigns. Fashion: Studio and Location worldwide. Multimedia presentations including Union Pacific’s theater-in-the-round Spokane World’s Fair. Local Clients: Dali Museum – Lykes Pasco – Strawberry Festival – Florida State Fair – Singleton Seafood – Teco.