Collection Walker Art Center, Minneapolis/Gift of the T.B. Walker Foundation, 1966/©George Segal/VAGA, NY, NY

Urban life is the subject of Segal’s most famous sculptures. Works like The Diner (shown here), from 1964–66, have earned him a reputation as the champion of the lonely, the disenfranchised, the overlooked denizens of the American metropolis. Segal himself was born in 1924 in the Bronx, where his father owned a kosher butcher shop. The family eventually moved to a chicken farm in New Jersey; Segal continued to live primarily in New York to study and eventually to teach.