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 1925-1945, with a short break during the Second World War 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
Biographical description from online catalogue of King's College Archive Centre, Cambridge: The papers of John Steegman, accessed Jul 2017 [https://janus.lib.cam.ac.uk/db/node.xsp?id=EAD/GBR/0272/PP/STE]