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