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Arthur Segal woodcuts

 Collection
Identifier: KA-0074-01

Summary

The collection consists of 68 prints out of a set of 70 from woodcuts created by Romanian-born painter Arthur Segal (1875-1944) between 1912 and 1919. The prints, from Segal's original blocks, were made on handmade paper by William Carter, and published by Richard Nathanson.

Dates

  • Woodcuts created 1912-1919
  • Printed 1972

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use. Please contact archivist@newschool.edu for appointment.

Use Restrictions

To publish images of material from this collection, permission must be obtained in writing from the New School Archives. Please contact: archivist@newschool.edu.

Biographical note

Arthur Segal (1875-1944) was born in Jassy, Romania and emigrated as a young man to Berlin, where he exhibited with artists who were part of the German Expressionist groups Die Brücke and Der Blaue Reiter. Segal opposed the First World War, opting to emigrate to Switzerland instead of returning to Romania to fight, and creating work that expressed his anti-war beliefs. In Switzerland, the artist exhibited with Jean Arp and the Dada circle in Zurich’s Cabaret Voltaire. Back in Berlin in 1920, Segal directed and exhibited with the Novembergruppe until 1932, when he was prevented from further exhibiting in Germany. He emigrated first to Majorca in 1933, and finally settled in London, where, in 1936, he opened the Arthur Segal Painting School for Professionals and Non-Professionals. His works are held by the Tate Gallery, the Tribes Fine Art Gallery in Israel, and the University of Massachusetts of Amherst, among many others.

Extent

0.9 Cubic Feet (1 box and 6 folders consisting of 68 woodcut prints)

Language of Materials

English

Scope and Content of Collection

The collection consists of 68 prints of a set of 70 woodcuts by Arthur Segal. The prints, from Segal's original blocks, were made on handmade paper by William Carter, and published by Richard Nathanson. Numbered 27 out of an edition of 80, the prints are on paper of two sizes: 11-1/4 x 15-1/2 or 15-1/4 x 22-3/4 inches, and range in size from approximately 2 x 3 to 8 x10 inches. Each sheet bears a watermark of the artist’s signature. Prints from woodblocks made in 1915 depict brutal scenes of warfare, constituting Segal's expressive opposition to World War I. Other prints are more serene, depicting buildings, landscapes, and abstracted village scenes, as well as a small number with overtly religious themes. Certain of the prints, found here in the folders titled "Grids," exemplify an important shift in style executed by Segal in 1916, representing his notion of "equi-balance," in which images placed in a grid structure balance black and white equally, without assigning greater value to any single area on the grid. This visual statement expressed Segal's belief that "in nature everything is of equal importance and interest."

Organization and Arrangement

Prints are arranged alphabetically by subject or style.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession date not known. The Segal prints were separated by archivists from a larger set of prints and other artwork formerly titled, "Original artwork by various artists."

Related Materials

The University Gallery, University of Massachusetts Amherst owns a set of 70 Segal woodcuts (it is likely that the prints in the New School collection are from this edition, although they do not comprise the complete set of 70).

The International Dada Archive at the University of Iowa Libraries holds an original publication of Segal prints, Vom Strande: acht Original-Holzschnitte, as well as a few other examples of his work.

Bibliography

  • All information about Segal and his work in this collection guide was obtained from the website of the Fine Arts Center at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. "Arthur Segal Woodcuts." Accessed August 16, 2010. http://www.umass.edu/fac/calendar/universitygallery/events/ArthurSegal.html
Title
Guide to the Arthur Segal woodcuts
Status
Completed
Author
New School Archives and Special Collections Staff
Date
July 2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English

Revision Statements

  • May 3, 2016: Dates revised by New School Archives and Special Collections Staff.