Press Releases

Date of Release: 
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Contact Info: 

Stephen Fleischman, Director or 608.257.0158 x 225

Katie Kazan, Director of Public Information 
608.257.0158 x 237 or

Photographs available upon request

MMoCA Acquires Casting of Segal Sculpture

MMoCA Acquires Casting of Segal Sculpture
“Depression Bread Line” Will Be Part of Traveling Exhibition

MADISON, WI – The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA) will acquire a casting of a major bronze sculpture by renowned artist George Segal. Depression Bread Line measures more than 9 x 12 x 3 feet, and depicts five men standing in line by the doorway of a building during the Great Depression. The original sculpture was commissioned by the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C., and the first casting, completed in 1991, is a permanent part of that memorial.

Depression Bread Line will be featured in a new exhibition organized by MMoCA and premiering at the museum September 14 to December 28, 2008. George Segal: Street Scenes focuses on human interactions and everyday events in familiar settings. The exhibition includes approximately 17 sculptures dating from the 1960s, when Segal first began working with plaster, to the 1980s and 1990s, as he focused his attention on the effects of economic change in urban environments.

After its Madison premiere, George Segal: Street Scenes will travel to three additional venues. Upon conclusion of the exhibition tour, Depression Bread Line will return to Madison, where it will installed at the museum as part of its permanent collection.

George Segal (1924–2000) was one of the most admired sculptors of his generation. In the early 1960s, he began using plaster to create life-size figures that he presented together with elements from everyday environments, such as chairs, benches, window frames, and fragments of buildings. The subjects and settings of his artworks reflect his working-class background and his concern for human values. Among the many honors he received during his lifetime were the International Lifetime Achievement Award for Sculpture (1992) and the National Medal of Honor (1999). Madison audiences are already familiar with an important Segal sculpture, Gay Liberation,which was on view in Orton Park, on Madison's east side, from 1986 to 1991.

Depression Bread Line is an extraordinary gift to the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art's permanent collection from The George and Helen Segal Foundation.

Generous funding for the casting of Depression Bread Line has been provided by Bill and Jan DeAtley, James and Sylvia Vaccaro, a major grant from the Madison Community Foundation, Jim and Cathie Burgess, the Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation, the Overture Foundation, and Tom and Martha Carter.

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Admission to exhibitions at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art is free of charge. MMoCA is supported through memberships and through generous contributions and grants from individuals, corporations, agencies, and foundations. Important support is also generated through auxiliary group programs; special events; rental of the museum's lobby, lecture hall, and rooftop garden; and sales through the Museum Store.

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