The first president of the association – Arnulf Erich Stegmann – was a prominent figure in the development of mouth and foot painting. Born in 1912 in Darmstadt, Germany, Stegmann lost the use of both arms from polio at the age of two. Regardless, his artistic talents were soon recognized and supported by his teachers. He was proficient with a variety of brushes and styles, using only his mouth.
He was educated at the School of Higher Education for Book Trade and Graphics in Nurenberg and studied with the artists Erwin von Kormöndy and Hans Gerstacker. He made a living selling his art cards and prints at marketplaces. After the Second World War Stegmann established his own publishing company with the poignant name "Dennoch" ("Anyway").
In 1953/54 he organized the group "Lodge of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists" as a type of artist community. From there, the international "Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists" was formed and A. E. Stegmann was voted president for live.