Prof. Arnulf Erich Stegmann, Founder of the AMFPA
Founding President Arnulf Erich Stegmann was born on 4th March 1912 in Darmstadt. At the age of two, he lost the use of his arms and hands due to spinal polio. Already at a young age, his artistic talent was recognized and encouraged by his teachers. He painted and used a palette-knife with oils with the same sure touch with which he mastered the technique of watercolour. He drew on stone with pen and burin as skilfully he executed linocuts, woodcuts and sculptures, holding the tool in his mouth. He studied at the Book Trade and Graphic Art College in Nuremberg, was a master-class student at the studio of Erwin von Kormöndy and Hans Gerstacker, and could look back on numerous journeys abroad and study visits in Italy. Stegmann was a member of the “Association for the Rights of Visual Artists” in Munich and the “International Arts Guide” in Monte-Carlo.
He was able to present his works on all five continents of the earth. In addition, he exhibited his works in solo exhibitions in, among other places, Munich, Vaduz, Hamburg, Athens, Berlin, Rome, Florence and Jerusalem. He received the following awards:
- Commendatore – Grande ufficiale/Militaris
- Hospitalisque Ordinis Georgiani ex Carinthia, Rome 1963
- Member of the Academia Tiberina, Rome 1964
- Officier de l‘ordre de mérite, Paris 1971
- Prize for Art of the VdK Social Association, Germany 1974
- Honorary Diploma of the State University of New York, Buffalo 1977
- Grand Prix Humanitaire de France, 1979.
Marlyse Tovae, 2nd President
Marlyse Tovae was born on 27th July 1933 in Strasbourg, with no arms. Already as a small child, she learned to carry out daily tasks with her feet. Ms Tovae attended primary school and, later, a secondary school for girls. From an early age, the gifted young girl devoted herself to the art of painting and drawing. The artist painted with her right foot. Her feet had long been transformed into highly sensitive organs and tools for conducting all the necessary tasks of life. Later, the foot painter studied with the well-known painter Marthe Kiehl in Strasbourg, and attended the Strasbourg College of Applied Arts. Already during her training, the artist began winning awards. The still lives, landscapes and compositions of this dainty person were initially characterised by a pronounced expressivity. Marlyse Tovae regarded her depictions of animals as central to her artistic interests. In time, the foot painter turned more to abstract painting. She also produced ceramics, metalwork and large-scale mosaics, whose handcrafted treatment and expression display perfection.
Marlyse Tovae was one of the founding members of the Association. At the General Assembly in Edinburgh in 1959, she was elected a member of the Managing Board of the AMFPA. After the passing away of the Founder and first President of the AMFPA, Arnulf Erich Stegmann, the members elected Tovae President of the AMFPA at the General Assembly in Madrid in 1985. She was able to take part in exhibitions in many cities all over the world. Thus, she presented her works in (among other places) Paris, Strasbourg, Vienna, Rome, Sydney, Zurich, Tokyo, Stockholm and in many other metropolises. In the course of her life, Marlyse Tovae received many awards and tributes.
Eros Bonamini, 3rd President
President from 2002 to the present day
Eros Bonamini had a peaceful childhood. He graduated from the Technical School, but one day a sports accident fundamentally changed his life. During a dive, he injured his spine, as a result of which he was confined to a wheelchair. During the long break in his life occasioned by the therapy and his new physical circumstances, he devoted himself passionately to literature and classical music. In the process, he also encountered painting, which rapidly became the central theme in his life. Already in 1966, he became a full member of the AMFPA.
Eros Bonamini, who signs his pictures using his artist’s name "Veronese", developed his great talent as a mouth painter in an astonishingly short time during a course of study with two professors. His main artistic style is based on the traditions of Cubism, which is expressed in his still lives and landscapes. One can clearly recognize the artistic intellectualism of the artist in his compositions. Since 1965, he has regularly exhibited his pictures at joint and solo exhibitions all over the world, and it thereby became a habit for him to receive high critical acclaim for his works.
In 1984, the Italian was for the first time elected a member of the Managing Board of the Association. 18 years later, on the occasion of the 9th General Assembly which was held in Lisbon in 2002, Eros Bonamini was elected the 3rd President of the AMFPA and has worked very successfully in that office right up to the present day.