Segal, George, 1924-2000

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George Segal was born in New York on November 26, 1924, to a Jewish couple who emigrated from Eastern Europe. His parents first settled in the Bronx where they ran a butcher shop and later moved to a New Jersey poultry farm. George spent many of his early years working on the poultry farm, helping his family through difficult times. For a while, George lived with his aunt in Brooklyn so that he could attend Stuyvesant Technical High School and prepare himself for a future in the math/science field. It was here that George first discovered his love for art. During World War II, he had to curtail his studies in order to help on the family poultry farm. He later attended Pratt, Cooper Union, and finally New York University where he furthered his art education and received a teaching degree in 1949. It was during these years that Segal met other young artists eager to make statements based on the real world rather than the pure abstractionism that was all the rage. He joined the 10th Street scene, painting and concentrating on expressionist, figurative themes. After his marriage to Helen in 1946, they bought their own chicken farm. In order to support his family during the lean years he taught Art and English at the local high school and at Rutgers University. In 1957, he was included in “Artists of the New York School: Second Generation,” an exhibit at the Jewish Museum. For the next three years he showed annually at the Hansa. The path from painting to sculpture and the specific form of the sculpture is embodied in a series of events from the late 1950s. In 1956, Segal was introduced to the Hansa Gallery and its’ artistic influence. The following year, Allan Kaprow chose the Segal farm as the scene of his first Happening – live art with an environmental sensibility. In 1958 Segal began to experiment in sculpture and had a one-man show at the Green Gallery in 1960, featuring several plaster figures. In 1961, while teaching an adult education class in New Brunswick, a student brought to George’s class a box of dry plaster bandages. Segal took them home and experimented with applying them directly to his body. With the help of his wife, Helen, Segal was able to make parts of a body cast and assemble them into a complete seated figure. Segal provided an environment for his body cast by adding a chair, a window frame and a table. Man Sitting at a Table marked the discovery of a new sculptural technique and a turning point in the artist’s career. From 1965 to 1999, George Segal was represented exclusively by the Sidney Janis Gallery, New York. In these later years, he perfected the technique and created real life tableaux, using many close friends and family members as models. He became known, along with Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Indiana, Andy Warhol and others as part of the "Pop Art" movement. Segal's distinctive style separated his work from "Pop Art" by staying closely related to personal experience and human values. He once said that because he was from the proletariat, he wanted to deal directly with the places around and familiar to himself, rather than with "elegant" topics. The last years of his life were filled with new creation and expression. His black and white photographs of the streets of New York & New Jersey and of people in his life were used to create new tableaux for his sculpture and to create close up drawings of human expression. He remained active, engaged and productive until his death on June 9, 2000. Throughout his life he was recognized around the world for his artistic work and his humanistic passion. From the George and Helen Segal Foundation webpage: http://www.segalfoundation.org/about_bio.html
Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
contributorOf Phyllis Tuchman interviews with artists, 1968-1987 Getty Research Institute
creatorOf Rose, Barbara. Barbara Rose papers, 1962-circa 1969. Archives of American Art
referencedIn Segal, George : Biographical file. Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
creatorOf Stankiewicz, Richard, 1922-1983. Richard Stankiewicz papers, 1948-1984. Archives of American Art
referencedIn Agostini, Peter. Peter Agostini interview, 1968 [sound recording]. Archives of American Art
referencedIn Brooklyn Museum. Dept. of Photography. Records, Exhibition negatives: installations. Six in Bronze. 1984-1985. Brooklyn Museum Libraries & Archives
creatorOf Segal, George, 1924-2000. The diner. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Horvat, Frank, 1928-. [Robert Rauschenberg and others at the Robert Rauschenberg Retrospective at the Jewish Museum] [graphic] / Frank Horvat. Archives of American Art
referencedIn Karp, Ivan C., 1926-. Oral history interview with Ivan C. Karp, 1963 Oct. 18 [sound recording]. Archives of American Art
referencedIn Ashton, Dore. Dore Ashton papers, 1849-2010 bulk 1931-1983. Archives of American Art
referencedIn Namuth, Hans. Hans Namuth photographs and papers, 1945-1985 Archives of American Art
referencedIn Kaprow, Allan. Oral history interview with Allan Kaprow, 1981 Feb. 5 - 18. Archives of American Art
referencedIn List, Vera,. Oral history interview with Vera List, 1973 Jan. 9 [sound recording]. Archives of American Art
Harry Shunk and Shunk-Kender photographs Getty Research Institute
referencedIn Goldsmith, Caroline Lerner, 1925-2004. Caroline Lerner Goldsmith papers related to Allan Kaprow, 1963-1984. Smithsonian Institution. Libraries
creatorOf Waldorf panel on sculpture (1965 : New York, N.Y.). [Waldorf panel on sculpture] [sound recordings], 1965 Feb. 17 & Mar. 17. Archives of American Art
referencedIn Nowinski, Ira. Ira Nowinski photograph collection, ca. 1965-2004. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Scull, Robert, 1917-1986. Robert Scull interviews, 1972 June 15-1972 June 28. Archives of American Art
referencedIn Scull, Robert C. Robert Scull papers, [undated] and [ca. 1968-1983]. Archives of American Art
creatorOf Jones, John. John Jones interviews with artists, 1965 Oct. 5-1965 Nov. 12. Archives of American Art
referencedIn Ira Nowinski collection, ca. 1965-2000 Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Seroka, Lenore. Lenore Seroka photographs, 1977-1984. Archives of American Art
creatorOf Segal, George, 1924-2000. Artist file. Brooklyn Museum Libraries & Archives
referencedIn List, Vera. Vera List interview, 1973 Jan. 9 [sound recording]. Archives of American Art
referencedIn Joan Kron papers, 1959-1971 Archives of American Art
referencedIn Segal, George, 1924- : [miscellaneous ephemeral material]. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas J. Watson Library
creatorOf Segal, George, 1924-. George Segal : artist file : study photographs and reproductions of works of art with accompanying documentation 1930?-1990 [graphic] [compiled by staff of The Museum of Modern Art, New York]. Frick Art Reference Library of The Frick Collection
referencedIn Inventory to the Records of the Congregation Sharri Sholom, 1955-1979, bulk 1970-1979 Rutgers Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Greenbaum, Jack. Jack Greenbaum scrapbook and interviews, 1961-1978. Archives of American Art
referencedIn Holger Cahill papers, 1910-1993 (bulk 1910-1960) Archives of American Art
referencedIn William Chapin Seitz papers, circa 1930-1995 Archives of American Art
referencedIn Johnson, Ellen H. Ellen Hulda Johnson papers, 1939-1980. Archives of American Art
referencedIn Scull, Robert C.,. Oral history interview with Robert Scull, 1972 June 15-28 [sound recording]. Archives of American Art
creatorOf Segal, George, 1924-2000,. Oral history interview with George Segal, 1973 Nov. 26 [sound recording]. Archives of American Art
creatorOf Segal, George, 1924-2000. Artist file : miscellaneous uncataloged material. Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
creatorOf Segal, George, 1924-2000. Reminiscences of George Segal : oral history, 1978. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Brooklyn Museum. Dept. of Education. Records, Exhibition views: installations. Six in Bronze. 1984-1985. Brooklyn Museum Libraries & Archives
creatorOf Adams, Doug, 1945-. Douglas G. Adams collection, 1945-2007. Graduate Theological Union, Flora Lamson Hewlett Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Adams, Doug, 1945- person
associatedWith Agostini, Peter person
associatedWith Ashton, Dore. person
associatedWith Ashton, Dore. person
associatedWith Baziotes, William, 1912-1963. person
associatedWith Bellamy, Richard. person
associatedWith Brooklyn Museum. Dept. of Education. corporateBody
associatedWith Brooklyn Museum. Dept. of Photography. corporateBody
associatedWith Cahill, Holger, 1887-1960. person
associatedWith Congregation Sharri Sholom (South Brunswick, N.J.) corporateBody
associatedWith Cummings, Paul, person
associatedWith Delevante, Sidney, 1894- person
associatedWith Diamonstein, Barbaralee, person
associatedWith Goldsmith, Caroline Lerner, 1925-2004. person
associatedWith Greenbaum, Jack. person
associatedWith Hansa Gallery (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Horvat, Frank, 1928- person
associatedWith Johnson, Ellen H. person
associatedWith Jones, John. person
associatedWith Kaprow, Allan. person
associatedWith Karp, Ivan C., 1926- person
associatedWith Kron, Joan. person
associatedWith List, Vera, person
associatedWith Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Namuth, Hans. person
associatedWith Nowinski, Ira person
associatedWith Nowinski, Ira. person
associatedWith Richard Green Gallery (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Rose, Barbara. person
associatedWith Scull, Robert, 1917-1986. person
associatedWith Scull, Robert C., person
associatedWith Seitz, William Chapin. person
associatedWith Seroka, Lenore. person
associatedWith Stankiewicz, Richard, 1922-1983. person
associatedWith Waldorf panel on sculpture (1965 : New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Washington (D.C.)
New Jersey
Subject
Art, American
Art--Study and teaching
Sculpture
Abstract Expressionism
Art--Philosophy
Monuments
Painters--Interviews
Sculpture--20th century
Sculptors--Interviews
Art criticism
Pop art
Occupation
Painters (artists)
Sculptors, American
Activity

Person

Birth 1924-11-26

Death 2000-06-09

Male

Americans

English

Information

Permalink: http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6gf11t6

Ark ID: w6gf11t6

SNAC ID: 68891928