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Arthur Segal Collection

Identifier: AR 7105

Scope and Content Note

The Arthur Segal Collection contains manuscripts and typescripts of speeches, essays and books of varied length (some up to several hundred pages). They deal with various art-related topics, as well as literal and philosophical subject matters. Some of the manuscripts deal with the cure of mental diseases through painting or art in general.

Arthur Segal's correspondence comprises of letters of known artists, writers and architects like Ludwig Meidner, Salomo Friedlaender, Ludwig Rubiner and J.J.P. Oud. There are also letters from famous psychoanalysts and psychiatrists like Ernst Simmel and Franz Alexander, and the copy of a short letter of recommendation by Sigmund Freud.

There are drafts of Segal's speeches and lectures, given at his painting school, on the radio, or on various other occasions, for example upon the tenth anniversary of the death of the writer Paul Scheerbart.

To a lesser extent, the collection features newspaper clippings, found in Series III.


  • 1903-1987


Language of Materials

The collection is in German and English as well as in Romanian, French and Italian.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Access Information

Readers may access the collection by visiting the Lillian Goldman Reading Room at the Center for Jewish History. We recommend reserving the collection in advance; please visit the LBI Online Catalog and click on the "Request" button.

Use Restrictions

There may be some restrictions on the use of the collection. For more information, contact:

Leo Baeck Institute, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011


Biographical Note

Arthur Segal was born in 1875 in Iasi (Jassy), Romania. He left school early and went to Berlin, Munich and Paris to study painting. He was a co-founder of the "Neue Sezession" in Berlin (1910), a group of artists that included Emil Nolde and Karl Schmidt-Rotluff ("Die Bruecke"), whose paintings were rejected by the "Berliner Sezession." He also exhibited with artists of the group "Der blaue Reiter." From 1914 to 1920 Arthur Segal lived in Ascona, Switzerland, which proved to be a refuge for many artists at the time. In 1920 he moved back to Berlin, where he founded his own painting school in 1923.

A follower of impressionism and neo-impressionism at the beginning of his painting career, he approached a more expressionist style from 1910 to 1914, before sympathizing with Dadaism and finding his own style from 1915/1916 on. In the late 1920s, Segal became an advocate of naturalism and searched for the objective principles of painting (one of his book manuscripts is called: "The objective principles of painting," 1937). He was a member of the artist groups "Die Autonomen" and "Die Juryfreien," and served as director of the "Novembergruppe." In 1925 he rejected a teaching position at the New Bauhaus in Dessau. Besides his work as a painter, a painting teacher and his numerous functions in the artist community, Segal created woodcuts, wrote book-manuscripts, published numerous essays in art-journals ad newspapers, and gave lectures on the radio and live for various organizations. Following a ban on exhibiting his art, Arthur Segal left Germany in 1933 and moved to Mallorca, Spain. Later, he immigrated to London and succeeded in opening another painting school.

In addition to his work as an artist, Arthur Segal was interested in psychology and psychotherapy and conducted correspondence with many famous psychoanalysts and psychiatrists of the time. He especially researched the effects of painting in order to cure mental illnesses, and his attempts were acknowledged among psychologists and psychoanalysts alike.

Arthur Segal died in London in 1944.


2 Linear Feet


The Arthur Segal collection contains personal and professional correspondence, manuscripts of essays and books, as well as drafts for speeches by the Dadaist and naturalist painter Arthur Segal. To a lesser extent, there are clippings and photographs.

Separated Material

Photographs removed to the LBI Photograph Collection.

Guide to the Papers of Arthur Segal (1875-1944) 1903-1987 AR 7105
Processed by LBI Staff and Malte Krumrey
© 2007
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from ArthurSegal.xml

Revision Statements

  • 2010-03-23 : encoding of linking to digital objects from finding aid was changed from <extref> to <dao> through dao_conv.xsl

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States