Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Stephen De Staebler was a celebrated American sculptor, printmaker, and significant figure in the California Clay Movement. During his undergraduate summers he studied art at Black Mountain College with Robert Motherwell and Ben Shahn, eventually graduating from Princeton University with a BA in religion in 1954. In 1961, he received an MA from the University of California, Berkeley. After teaching at the San Francisco Art Institute during the 1960’s, de Staebler taught at San Francisco State for over 20 years until his retirement in 1990.