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 Ellen Barbara Segner  ( - 2001)

About: Ellen Barbara Segner
 

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: illustration-female figure, genre

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Ellen Barbara Segner
An example of work by Ellen Barbara Segner
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following is from Vance Gibson, Researcher of the artist:

Ellen Barbara Segner is remembered for her artwork of Little Miss Sunbeam, the signature figure for Quality Bakers Association. Her rendering of Little Miss Sunbeam can still be seen on every loaf of Sunbeam bread sold today. She also had many illustrations in the popular childrens' books "Dick and Jane", and did illustrations for "Glamour" and "Look Magazine", Girl Scout guide books, calender pin ups and many calendars with subjects including skiing to hunting.

Ellen Segner died in 2001, her exact age at death appears unknown. Although she was a very private person, her work had wide exposure. Auction personnel that sold her estate said that Ellen Segner had destroyed her birth certificate.

It is known that she was married to a Spanish Prince named Usabol, who was a popular artist who painted movie stars and models in the 1920's and 30's in Hollywood. The auction house representative handling her estate said that judging by the letters they had found he was abusive to Ellen, and that they later divorced. Usabol went back to Spain and was found dead on the streets.

E.B. Segner's father was Louis Segner aka (Luwig Segner), a Hungarian, who came to New York in the early 1900's. Reportedly he was a well-known book illustrator who died in 1954.

Some of the paintings by Ellen Segner sold at her estate sale by Brunk Auctions in Asheville, North Carolina are:

Little Miss Sunbeam riding a bike carrying loaves of bread, oil on canvas
Dick and Jane, washing Spot, water color
Dick and Jane, fishing with Spot, water color
Dick, fishing, water color
Morning, woman seated in bedroom, oil on canvas
My Sweet Grandma, portrait of seated woman gazing out window w/ flowers on sill, oil on canvas
Portrait of Ellen's grandma in paisley shawl, oil on canvas
Woman at the beach sitting on a rock in white bathing suit, oil on canvas
Teenagers in Love, teenagers kissing behind bicycle wheel, gouache
Sleeping Grandfather in chair with four dogs, oil on canvas
Woman in black Spanish dress with shawl, oil on board
Seated portrait of Louis "Luwig" Segner, oil on board
Seated portrait of Louis "Luwig" Segner, religious scene, oil on board
Self Portrait of Ellen Segner on sofa with her dog Chi-Chu, oil on board
Standing Woman in white gown, oil on board
Woman in blue floral dress standing on balcony, oil on board
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Note from Laura Crockett, Curator of the Segner Collection for Brunk Auctions.

It is not necessarily true that Segner destroyed her birth certificate...she just tried to eliminate all evidence of dating on her paintings. Her birth certificate was in with the rest of the family papers written in Hungarian.
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An illustrator of glamour-girl themes, Ellen Segner is one of the few females known for that subject matter. Her work is very rare to find.

Source: Mastronet auction catalogue, 11/14/2002

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