William Sommer (American, 1867 – 1949)
Brandywine Landscape, about 1914
Oil on panel
20 1/4 x 26 1/8 in.
Partial and promised gift, anonymous Louisville collection. 2006.7.3
Creating an Artistic Life
Sommer moved to Cleveland, Ohio, in 1907 to work for the Otis Lithograph Company. He developed a close friendship with his coworker William Zorach, whose sculpture Tiger, Tiger is also in the collection. Together, they dedicated themselves to advancing modernist art in Cleveland. Sommer was especially proactive, founding two artists’ groups, the Secessionists and the Kokoon Club, which held lectures, art exhibitions and auctions, and art instruction. In 1914, Sommer purchased four acres in the Brandywine Valley and converted an abandoned school house into a home and studio that attracted visits from progressive poets and painters such as Hart Crane, Charles Burchfield, and William and Marguerite Zorach