Girl on Red Wicker Couch

George Segal, American, 1924 - 2000



Plaster and wicker couch

Overall: 35 × 80 × 58 in. (88.9 × 203.2 × 147.3 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Purchased through a gift from Joachim Jean Aberbach and a matching grant from the National Endowment for the Arts



Place Made: United States, North America


20th century

Object Name


Research Area


Not on view


Not signed.

Exhibition History

A Space for Dialogue 76, Modern Melancholy, Jane Cavalier, Class of 2014, Class of 1954 Intern, Ivan Albright Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, March 30-May 26, 2013.

George Segal: Sculptures, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 28, 1978-January 7, 1979; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, California, February 18-April 1, 1979; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City, New York, May 22-September 9, 1979.

In Girl on Red Wicker Couch, George Segal presents what he calls an “assembled environment,” which here includes an erotic and emotionally disconcerting female nude reclining on a red wicker couch. Segal suggests that the piece is meant to be approached as though one were in the presence of a real woman in everyday life, rather than a sculpture. Constructed naturalistically from Johnson and Johnson bandages dipped in plaster and wrapped around his model, the figure is meant to elicit simultaneous feelings of familiarity with the intimate subject matter and of estrangement in its luminescent anonymity, which is too brilliant to be completely erotic. The assemblage emphasizes the subject’s ordinariness, capturing something essential about the human experience in its banal details, whether in her unaware tranquility or in the way her pose mimics the spread of the blanket. She appears ossified and lifeless, and the stillness of the work’s atmosphere reinforces her inanimateness. The emotionally ambivalent and confounding experience that Segal structures for the viewer is as melancholic as the isolated, lifeless, and objectified figure herself.

Second Stage of Modernism: Art from 1945 to the present, William B. Jaffe and Evelyn A. Jaffe Hall,, Lanthrop, Friends and Cheatham Galleries, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, June 6-August 16, 1987.

Selections, Contemporary Art, Jaffe-Friede Gallery, Hopkins Center Art Galleries, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, December 12, 1975-January 11, 1976.

Twentieth Century Works from the Dartmouth Collection, Harrington Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, March 19-May 29, 1988.

Publication History

Treasures of the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, New York: Hudson Hill Press, 1985, p. 149.

Martin Friedman and Graham W. J. Beal, George Segal Sculptures, Minneapolis, 1979, p. 19.

Brian P. Kennedy and Emily Shubert Burke, Modern and Contemporary Art at Dartmouth: Highlights from the Hood Museum of Art, Hanover: Trustees of Dartmouth College, 2009, p.104, no.78.

Jane Cavalier, A Space for Dialogue 76, Modern Melancholy, Hanover, New Hampshire: Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, 2013, checklist no. 6.


Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, New York; sold to present collection, 1975.

This record is part of an active database that includes information from historic documentation that may not have been recently reviewed. Information may be inaccurate or incomplete. We also acknowledge some language and imagery may be offensive, violent, or discriminatory. These records reflect the institution’s history or the views of artists or scholars, past and present. Our collections research is ongoing.

We welcome questions, feedback, and suggestions for improvement. Please contact us at: