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May 4 Collection - Box 90
Prepared by Nancy Birk, 11 July 1994; Updated November 2014; Extensively revised by Cara Gilgenbach, February 2017; Last Update: January 2020
Inclusive Dates: 1978-1990
Extent: .5 cubic feet (1 slim document case, 1 oversized folder, 1 flat oversized box)
Physical Location: 11th and 12th floors
Historical Note: In 1978 American artist George Segal was commissioned to create a bronze sculpture in commemoration of the Kent State shootings. This work was commissioned by the Mildred Andrews Fund of Cleveland, Ohio, in agreement with Kent State University. After University officials learned more about the nature of the proposed work, took issue with the accuracy of the Abraham and Isaac metaphor, and questioned its appropriateness in relation to the shootings, a decision was made to reject the commission. This decision was met with vocal opposition and dismay by many, including some of the injured students, while others voiced agreement with the decision. Following its rejection by Kent State, the work was installed on the campus of Princeton University where it remains a part of John B. Putnam Jr. Memorial Collection. In early correspondence about the work, Segal refers to it by the title of Abraham's Sacrifice of Isaac. The sculpture was later named Abraham and Isaac: In Memory of May 4, 1970, Kent State University, though many use the short-hand title of Abraham and Isaac to refer to the work.
Scope and Content: The collection includes materials about George Segal's sculpture, Abraham and Isaac, which was created in response to the Kent State shootings and is located at Princeton University. In particular, this collection reflects the history of the original proposed commission, its eventual rejection by Kent State, and the resulting responses to that decision by various individuals.
Processing Note: This collection was re-processed in February 2017. The collection was formerly known as "May 4-related Memorials and Protests at Other Institutions," although the bulk of the materials in the collection related to the Segal sculpture.
Related Materials: See also the May 4 Clippings collection for newspaper and magazine articles related to the Abraham and Isaac sculpture. There are two videos about George Segal in the Films and Videos Related to May 4 collection. The George Segal papers are held by the Princeton University Library, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Manuscripts Division.
Restrictions on Use: Rights to reproduce any words, images, and art created by George Segal must be obtained in writing prior to use from both the Department of Special Collections and Archives and VAGA, rights representative for the George and Helen Segal Foundation.
Separated Materials: Materials unrelated to the Segal sculpture that were filed in this collection prior to re-processing in 2017, if retained, have been moved to the May 4 Subject Files collection.
Sponsor: Digitization of this collection was funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
May 4 Collection - Box 90
Folder -- Contents