a self portrait

Julius Segall

This site is inspired by the work of my cousin Rainbow Hayes Jones to document and share paintings of our ancestor Julius Segall. He was a prolific artist whose story and images reflect the critical history of Jewish immigrants to the US in the late 19th and early 20th century. This project welcomes further information and documentation about his life and works. We believe that all the images on this site are in the public domain as they are faith representations of two dimensional works whose creator passed away more than 70 years ago and thus all are out of copyright.

Histories, Biographies, Narratives

*Merill’s original 1988 article in the Wisconsin Academy Review was minimally reworked and republished without illustrations in his 1997 book “German-American artists in early Milwaukee: a biographical dictionary”


Nakel an der Netze, Posen, Prussia. An overview of Jewish history in this community. (N.b. On his 29 May 1899 Passport application he lists Łobieżnica as his place of birth.) Merill Profile states his mother Johanna Bratsch died a month after his birth, but the 1880 census lists a Johanna as his father’s wife and his presumed mother, see documentation page.

Sails to the US
(1874 May)
This is his sworn declaration on his 29 May 1899 Passport application (Passport Applications, 1795-1905, vol. 1898-1990, roll 526 – 20 May 1999 – 31 May 1899) Merill Profile believes he immigrated with his father and his father’s second wife in 1872. This seems likely inaccurate as father is already in Hartford, WI in the 1870 census, see documentation page.

Becomes a US Citizen
(1881 March 21)
This is his sworn declaration on his 29 May 1899 Passport application (Passport Applications, 1795-1905, vol. 1898-1990, roll 526 – 20 May 1999 – 31 May 1899)

Sails to Europe
(1881 July)
Visits birthplace en route to Munich and later writes about this visit – Merill Profile (write-up not yet sourced)

Enrolls in Royal Academy in Munich
(1881 October 10)
Merill Profile notes that Segall became acquainted with Toby Edward Rosenthal at this time.

Returns to Milwaukee, WI
(1883 or earlier)
Merill Profile suggests the return was coordinated with Schade and that together they established studios in the Iron Block at this time.

Donates Paintings to Aid Victims of Johnstown Flood
(1889 June 3)
As noted in Eugene B. Meier’s Diary (p. 126).

Closes Milwaukee Studio
(1889 July 31 to August 3)
“Segall closes his studio, as he will go to St. Paul with his student Butterfield.” – Meier Diary (p. 138)

Farewell Party
(1889 August 8-19)
“Segall and his brothers give a funny farewell party..” – Meier Diary (p. 141)

Establishes ‘school’ in St. Paul
(1889 October 1-7)
“Heine meets Segall, who has 14 students in St. Paul.” – Meier Diary (p. 150)

(1889 December 26-30)
“Segall has his wedding day. In St. Paul he had 21 students and $300 income.” – Meier Diary (p. 167) The transcriber of the diary notes: “Segall was married in Milwaukee on December 30, 1889 to Regina Werner (1869-1927). One of the witnesses to the ceremony was Robert Schade. Segal and wife were Jewish but married by a justice of the piece in a civil ceremony. Their two children were Rose, born in 1890 and Edward, born 1892. Before leaving Milwaukee, Segall had given instruction to a few private pupils. His studio in St. Paul was in the GLOBE BUILDING, 36 East 4th Street.” Merill Profile reports wedding as having taken place in Milwaukee, but possible wedding portrait of the couple is from at St. Paul studio (see documentation page). The same identifies Regina as from Bucovina; note that 1988 Merill profile includes a landscape painting done in that region on a family visit.

Faculty Member at Hamiline University
(1900-1902 approximately)
Dates derived from Merill Profile.

Establishes Globe Building Studio, St. Paul
Dates uncertain, see Merill Profile. More on the building itself. Image on documentation page.

The Family spends a season in Munich
(1903 winter?)
Specific dates uncertain from Merill Profile. Perhaps this move followed by the subsequent return to Milwaukee were inspired by the fire in the Globe Building studio (source needed on fire).

Returns to Milwaukee
Specific dates uncertain from Merill Profile.

Publishes “Liebe”
(1916 March 2-7)
The motto of a charity bazar for the benefit of war sufferers in Germany, Austria, and Hungary, reproduced and translated on the poetry page.

Memorializes Otto Soubron
(1918 May)
A portrait by Julius Segall of O. Soubron was presented to the Turner Club by Hermann Schwarting and Julius Segall also gave speech at the same event. Documented by Freidenker 47.21 (26 May 1918), p. 9. Digitized on the Hathitrust. Soubron is said to have translated some of Segall’s poetry (Merill Profile).

Publishes “Gedichte”
A book of German poetry now in the public domain, digitized, and freely downloadable.

(1925 January 20)
See documentation page for obituaries and further information.

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