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HDA Class of 1987

George Segal

Sculptor

Graduate School–New Brunswick 1963


The washbasins, traffic lights, beds, and neon signs in the work of George Segal are real—the figures surrounded by them caught in a transitory moment of reality. The inert figures act in a theater of the instant. Linked early in his career to pop art, his work is much more than simple glorification of the mundane. His work suspends a moment, allowing it to be studied at leisure. Some New Jersey high school students were lucky enough to have him as their art teacher. His work has appeared in galleries in Paris, Dusseldorf, Cologne, Zurich, Brussels, and Tokyo, as well as in numerous American galleries. His bronze sculptural ensembles depicting the Great Depression, as well as The Fireside Chat, The Rural Couple, and The Breadline, can be viewed at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C. He was one of five sculptors selected by the memorial's designer, Lawrence Halprin, to contribute to the project. Rutgers' Zimmerli Art Museum acquired Segal's The Bus Shelter in 1998. In April 2001, Amber Edwards's documentary, George Segal: American Still Life, premiered on NJN. Segal lived in his South Brunswick home until his death in 2000.


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