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Muhheakantuck (The River that Flows Two Ways)

Yonkers (Hudson)

Muhheakantuck (The River that Flows Two Ways)

Barbara Segal
Artwork in aluminum by Barbara Segal showing large reliefs representing flowing water installed on the train overpass.
“Muhheakantuck (The River that Flows Two Ways)” (2005) by Barbara Segal at MNR Yonkers Station. Photo: Rob Wilson

About the Project

“Muhheakantuck” is the Lenape name for the Hudson River. Translated into English, it means “the river that flows two ways.” At Yonkers station, Segal’s artwork is composed of two gigantic metal artworks. The cast aluminum sculptures are located on the sides of the bridge the trains use and can be viewed both by commuters at the station and by those passing by on the streets below. Segal, a Yonkers resident, consulted both art-historical and scientific sources to evoke the river's past. During her research, Segal was taken by the fact that the river in this area can actually flow up- and downstream, depending on tidal conditions. Segal explained to the Westchester Times, "The work is an abstract representation of the river... The sun and moon will constantly change the lighting on the sculpture, and the shadows will change with the sunrise and sunset." According to Segal’s research, the sculpture is installed at a spot where the river's original shoreline was situated before landfill and development of the riverfront. 

About the Artist

Artist and educator Barbara Segal carefully honed her skills in stone carving by working with established artists and artisans in the United States and Europe. She first earned her degree in fine arts from Pratt Institute in New York and École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. After graduating, Segal spent four years in working in established stone carving studios in Italy. Her time in Italy left a lasting influence on Segal’s own work. Elements of Italian Baroque style are visible in Segal depictions of rich and voluptuous materials in hard stone. In addition to her studio work, Segal also founded the Art on Main Street (AOMYS) nonprofit whose mission was to bring art to downtown Yonkers. Segal sculptures are exhibited nationally and abroad, and she shares her talents as a sculptor by teaching at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.