Thomas Lias studied at the Carnegie Institute of Technology and earned a Bachelor of Arts there in 1936. He earned an Master of Arts at the University of Iowa in 1946, and Master of Fine Arts there in 1947. At Iowa he worked with Mauricio Lasansky, who very recently organized a printmaking program after working in New York City with Stanley William Hayter at Atelier 17. At Iowa, Lias began working with newly revived intaglio printmaking techniques of engraving, soft-ground etching and simultaneous color printing. Lias's new prints were exhibited widely and won numerous purchase awards. Solo exhibitions were mounted at Associated Artists Galleries, Pittsburgh, 1937 & 1938; Florida State University, 1948, Research Studio, Maitland, Florida, 1950; Des Moines Art Center, 1951, South Bend Art Museum, 1952; Dayton Art Institute, Ohio Wesleyan University, Wooster College, Canton Art Institute, and the Akron Art Institute, all in 1953. Collections holding Lias's work include Allentown Art Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, Hundred Friends of Pittsburgh Art, Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University), Huntington Museum and Library, Davenport Art Museum, Dayton Art Institute, Des Moines Art Center, and the Palmer Museum of Art.