Series 10: Donald Lokuta Photographs

1.0 linear feet

This collection is stored at Firestone Library.

Requests will be delivered to Manuscripts Division, RBSC Reading Room .

Collection Creator: Segal, George, 1924-2000..

Dates: 1983-2005.

Extent: 1.0 linear feet

Languages: English.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.


This series contains photographic prints by Donald Lokuta of George Segal, the Segal studio and galleries, casting sessions, and major installations of Segal's work.

Donald Lokuta was a professor of Photography at Kean University when he met George Segal through one of his students during a studio visit in 1984. Lokuta, so interested to meet the sculptor whose work he had admired during the pursuit of his Doctorate in Education at Ohio State University, would go on to spend the next sixteen years as a close family friend, fellow photographer, and studio assistant to the sculptor. This long and intimate friendship was owed in part, and most certainly at the beginning, to a mutual interest in photography. As a result, Lokuta was afforded the opportunity of photographing George Segal and his work from their meeting in 1984 until after the artist's death in 2000.

A majority of the prints in this series are the direct result of the fact that Lokuta, soon after meeting the artist, made a spontaneous offer during a photography session to assist Segal in the casting of one of his sculptures. Segal accepted his offer and Lokuta went on to assist him until he fell ill. Lokuta was present at dozens of casting sessions from 1984 to 1999. The prints in the Casting Sessions files document these fifteen years worth of sculpting and are the most complete and consistent record of Segal's hallmark method ever recorded. Photographs of sculptures being created include Street Crossing, Guinness Gold, Parking Garage, The Red Scaffold and Bus Passengers.

Lokuta was also keenly interested in the artist's installations. Segal considered the display of his artwork and sculpture in Rooms 2-9 of his ten room coop as gallery installations, carefully arranged by Segal himself and varying for whatever creative reasons Segal was inclined toward. These photographs document these installations over a span of eight years from 1992 to 2000. Additionally, Lokuta documented the studio (Room 1), the galleries (Rooms 2-9), and storage (Room 10) immediately preceding and following the artist's death on June 9, 2000. These photographs capture unfinished works in progress and the final installations by the artist in his lifetime.

Beyond the intimate, candid, and near constant access to Segal's studio and galleries, Lokuta was also present during important events. Documented in this series is a photographic record of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C, from plaster casting sessions (including his own), bronze casting at the foundry, and finally installation and dedication. Initially commissioned in 1977, the project was delayed until 1991, at which time Segal was called upon for the sculptures he had agreed to produce some thirteen years earlier. They were Depression Breadline, Fireside Chat, and Appalachian Farm Couple 1936, and Lokuta's photographs include the models (including Miles Forst, Martin Friedman, Donald Lokuta, Julie Martin, Billy Klüver, George Segal). Other models for the sculptures include Helen Segal, Leon Bibel and Daniel Burger.

Also present in the series is the last photography session that photographer Hans Namuth ever did with a professional artist, taken just four weeks before his death on October 13, 1990. Additionally there are prints of Segal installing "George Segal, a Retrospective: Sculptures, Paintings, Drawings" at the Hirshhorn Museum in 1998.

As the two friends photographed side-by-side for almost all the time they spent together, parts of this series coincide with Series 2: Fine Photography. Some of the prints located in the Life / Photography / Work files were taken on the same journeys throughout New York and New Jersey that produced most of the prints in Series 2. Lokuta would often photograph Segal making photographs, and these prints lend insight into the artist's method and approach. A guest of the family as often as a professional colleague, Lokuta's prints in these files capture a variety of other subjects, including family gatherings, dinner table scenes and ordinary moments in Segal's life.

The greater part of the photographs are annotated with remarks, dates, names and titles on the back of the prints detailing much information of interest. Additionally, Donald Lokuta agreed to further annotate certain photographs in the series, most notably by providing the names of models for as many of the installed sculptures as possible. These handwritten notes are present on envelopes and sheets of paper located with the prints themselves in certain files of the series and were recorded at the same time that the photographs were added to the collection in July 2009. Typed documentation provided by Lokuta is also present.

Physical notes: Photographs are contained within envelopes that have hand-written notes that pertain to those photographs or which have been paired with sheets of notations. Additionally, the prints are housed with sheets of paper interleaved between them. Researchers are asked to take care to preserve this arrangement while using the relevant files.

In some cases, photographs are bound between layers of archival board and preservation mylar. Researchers are asked to take care when returning materials to their folder that the mylar sheets are placed between the stack of photographs and the archival board, on top of the first print and beneath the last print. Secure the ribbon with a simple bow.


Arranged alphabetically by subject.

Preferred Citation

Series 10: Donald Lokuta Photographs; 1983-2005; George Segal Papers, Manuscripts Division, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library.

    Request Checked Items
    Title Date Container
    Casting Sessions (1) 1985-1992 Box 103 Folder 1
    Casting Sessions (2) 1994-1999 Box 103 Folder 2
    Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial: Casting 1991-1995 Box 103 Folder 3
    Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial: Installation and Dedication 1997 Box 103 Folder 4
    Hans Namuth Photographing George Segal 1990 September 14 Box 103 Folder 5
    Installation at The Hirshhorn Museum 1998 Box 103 Folder 6
    Life / Photography / Work (1) 1987-1991 Box 103 Folder 7
    Life / Photography / Work (2) 1992-2005 Box 104 Folder 1
    Portraits / Informal Events / The Studio 1984-1999 Box 104 Folder 2
    Studio at Time of Death 2000 July 10 Box 104 Folder 3
    Studio Installations (1) 1992-1999 Box 104 Folder 4
    Studio Installations (2) 2000 Box 104 Folder 5

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