Born in Alameda, California into a pioneer family, Edwin’s father was a prosperous tea importer who was a partner of Max and Joseph Brandenstein who were forerunners of MJB Coffee. The family estate at 2044 Alameda Avenue was complete with stables, tennis courts, and greenhouses to hold the family’s orchid collection. After serving as an infantryman in the Army during WWI, the younger Siegfried returned home and without the benefit of art training, began painting. Initially, Siegfried worked in oil but soon abandoned that medium in favor of pastels. Siegfried maintained a home and studio at 1819 Central Avenue in Alameda. He was also an accomplished musician and played the organ for silent movies in San Francisco. During the depression years he worked as an artist for the WPA painting a series of California missions. Siegfried’s subjects include the Monterey coastline, Lake Tahoe and Point Reyes; However, he excelled in depicting the saltwater marshes of the area now covered by the Alameda Naval Air Station.