+ Expand all text to enable full keyword searching

Guide to the Arthur Segal woodcuts

Collection Overview

Kellen Design Archives
Creator - Woodcutter
Segal, Arthur, 1875-1944
Arthur Segal woodcuts, 1975 (from woodcuts, 1912-1919)
2 linear ft: 2 boxes (68 woodcut prints)
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.

Return to Top »

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.

Return to Top »

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."

Return to Top »

Organization and Arrangement

Prints are arranged alphabetically by subject or style.

Return to Top »

Administrative Information

Publication Information

Kellen Design Archives July 2012

66 5th Ave./
lobby level/
New York, NY, 10011

Use Restrictions

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

Return to Top »

Related Materials

The University Gallery, University of Massachusetts Amherst owns a set of 70 Segal woodcuts (it is likely that the prints in the Kellen's collection are a partial duplicate of this set).

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.


Return to Top »

Keywords for Searching Related Subjects


  • Etchings (prints).
  • Woodcuts (prints).


  • Printmakers.

Personal Name(s)

  • Carter, William
  • Nathanson, Richard


  • Fine arts.
  • Prints -- Technique.

Return to Top »


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

Return to Top »

Collection Inventory

Title Box Folder
Boats  OSxx-1 1
Title Box Folder
Buildings and landscapes  k_6 1-3
OSxx-1 2-4
Figurative  OSxx-1 5
Title Box Folder
Figures in a scene or landscape  k_6 4
OSxx-1 6
Title Box Folder
Grids  k_6 5
OSxx-1 7
Title Box Folder
Warfare  k_6 6
OSxx-1 8

Collection guide Last Updated: 08/30/2012

Copyright © 2010 Kellen Design Archives, The New School. All rights reserved.

Archivist Toolkit at_eadToHTML stylesheet Version 1.01