The roots of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists (MFPA) go back to 1957 when the painter Erich Stegmann and a small group of disabled artists from eight European countries created a self-help association.
A polio survivor, Erich Stegmann grew up without the use of his arms, yet built a highly successful career in Germany by painting with a mouth-held brush. It was his belief that if painters with similar impairments formed a cooperative it would be possible for them to live by their artistic efforts and enjoy a sense of work security that until then had eluded them.
This aim was to be achieved by selling their work in the form of greetings cards, calendars, prints and illustrated books. The result has been a unique worldwide art movement and commercial cause.