Julius G. Segall (1860 - 1925)

Birth date: 1860 Death date: 1925  
Birth location: Death location:  
Media: Painting / Oil Web site:
Comprehensive (file rating) - Major Wisconsin artist file that includes comprehensive documentation on artist's life that can be researched on site at MWA.

Biographical Brief

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Biography

Julius G. Segall

Born 1860 in Nakel an der Netze, Posen, Prussia

Died 1925 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Born in what is now part of Poland, Julius Segall immigrated to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with his family at the age of fourteen.  After studying in Milwaukee schools, he found employment as a peddler and later as a clerk in his father’s jewelry store. In 1881, he decided to pursue his interest in art and left Milwaukee to study at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, Germany.  Trained to paint in the realistic style popular in Munich, Segall resisted the trend toward Modernism and returned to America to enjoy a long professional career as a representational artist and teacher.

In 1883, along with Robert Shade and other young Munich-trained artists, Segall established a studio in the Iron Block Building on Wisconsin Avenue in Milwaukee. His reputation grew and he received numerous commissions for portraits and landscapes. Energetic and productive, he filled the studio with paintings of marine subjects, still-lifes and genre paintings and won prizes in competitions in Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco.  He also spent time instructing private students.

After marriage in 1889 to Regina Werner, Julius Segall moved with his wife to St. Paul, Minnesota where later their two children were born. He rented a studio there and taught drawing and painting at Hamline University. The family spent a winter in Munich and then returned to Milwaukee in 1904 where Segall opened his permanent studio in the Mack Building on Wisconsin Avenue. During his lifetime, he returned to Europe several times to study the great masterworks in museums in France, Italy and Germany. In Milwaukee his output expanded to include religious canvases, hunting scenes and his best known work, “Father Heinrich”, a portrait of a bearded man, now in the Milwaukee Art Museum collection. Although not widely exhibited, his paintings were widely collected and are represented today in numerous religious, commercial and museum collections.

An amateur writer, Segall wrote German verse and critical essays which he contributed to German language newspapers in Milwaukee. He also wrote plays and a book of poetry that he self-published in 1920. Known to be a dreamer with an optimistic view of humanity, he was a lifelong socialist and free thinker. He died at home in the winter of 1925 and was buried in Spring Hill Cemetery in Milwaukee.

Selected one-man exhibition

1926 Julius Segall Memorial Show, Milwaukee Art Institute

Selected Group Exhibitions

1906 19th Annual Exhibition of Oil Paintings and Sculpture by American Artists, Art Institute of Chicago

1907 Milwaukee Art Institute

1912 Exhibition of Paintings, Watercolors and Sculpture by Milwaukee Artists, Milwaukee Art Institute

Bibliography: German American Painters in Wisconsin by Peter Merrill, p.111, obituary Milwaukee Sentinel, Jan 21, 1925, WI Jewish Chronicle, Jan 23, 1925

Milw. Sentinel, Feb., 1922, Julius Segall, Immigrant Artist in Wisconsin, Wis. Academy Review, Dec. 1988,

Ask Art. The Artists Bluebook.

© 2010/10/21 Museum of Wisconsin Art, West Bend, WItists Bluebook.

Wisconsin Affiliations

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Wisconsin Art Organizations

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