Stegemann worked as an apprentice as a painter and won a scholarship at the Arts and Crafts School in Hamburg. He then moved to the Grand-Ducal Saxon Art School in Weimar. Called to army in WWI, he served on the front and was badly injured but could return to Hamburg in 1918. Here he joined the November Group and later the Deutscher Künstlerbund (DKB), for which he curated the final exhibition. In the early 1930s his art was condemned as degenerate and his studio bombed during WWII. He died of cancer in 1945.