George Segal was born on November 26, 1924, in New
York City. Segal was fortunate enough to attend some of New York’s
most prestigious art schools including Cooper Union (1941), Pratt Institute
(1947), and New York University (1949).
Although Segal began his artistic career as a painter,
he is better remembered for his modern sculptures, especially his works
of cast bronze life-size figures. These figures had minimal color and
detail, which gave them an unearthly appearance. Nevertheless, he would
place these figures in environments constructed of found objects.
During the 1950s and 60s, Segal lived on a chicken
farm in South Brunswick, New Jersey, often entertaining friends from
the New York art world and Rutgers University professors. It was Segal’s
artwork during the 1960s which helped to define Pop Art in America.
In 1998, a major exhibit of Segal’s work was
presented at the Jewish Museum in New York City. Two of the pieces in
the exhibit, Depression Bread Line and Appalachian Farm Couple, were
cast in bronze for the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial in Washington,
D.C. Segal was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1999. A year later,
on June 9, 2000, Segal passed away.
Sources: “George Segal (1924 - 2000).” American
Jewish Desk Reference. NY: Random
House, 1999. pg. 336, Biography
of George Segal: Segal Foundation