Honoring Carl Steinhauser

Today—on the date of his death in 1879–we focus on Carl Johann Steinhäuser, sculptor of two unique monuments at St. Stephen’s that often appear on this page: the dramatic group of 1849-1852 for the Burd Children’s Memorial (early dubbed the Angel of the Resurrection), and the baptismal font of 1856 with lifesize cherubs pondering, even playing with, the instruments of Christ’s Passion. Though few know him today, Steinhäuser was very successful in Rome as well as his native Germany in the 1840s and 1850s. He was also then the darling of Philadelphia art circles. Because he never came to the United States, he owes much to his local champion: childhood friend Clamor Friedrich Hagedorn, consul in Philadelphia for several Germanic states—and a successful commercial importer. Hagedorn represented Steinhäuser well and made his sculpture available to this region with enviable professionalism.

—Suzanne Glover Lindsay, St. Stephen’s historian and curator