Skip Navigation

About the ArtistShare

The Holocaust

George Segal (American, 1924-2000)

The Holocaust, 1982

  • Plaster, wood, and wire
  • Dimensions variable
  • The Jewish Museum, New York
  • Purchase: Dorot Foundation Gift, 1985-176a-l
  • Art © The George and Helen Segal Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Not on view

largeImage

close

The Holocaust

close

The Holocaust

close

Listen

George Segal was born in the Bronx, New York, on November 26, 1924. As a child, he moved with his family to a poultry farm in New Jersey, and he often worked on the farm to help the family through difficult times. In the 1940s, Segal studied art in New York City, but uncertain of his ability to earn a living solely through his art, he bought his own poultry farm nearby the family homestead. Segal painted and taught art throughout the 1950s, finally converting his farm into a studio in 1958.

In the early 1960s, Segal began using found objects to create environments that reflected the mundane realities of the workaday world. He populated these with plaster figures cast from living models. Segal's work is often associated with Pop art, although his work reflects a strong current of personal experience and human emotion. George Segal died on June 9, 2000, at the age of seventy-five.



GEORGE SEGAL'S TECHNIQUE

To create his life-sized figures, George Segal wrapped his models in medical bandages dipped in plaster. Once the plaster dried, he would cut off the hardened cast. Segal would often cast the forms in sections and then assemble the completed figure afterward. He rarely used professional models, instead casting his sculptures from family, friends, neighbors, and even himself.