Sommer, William

William Sommer (b. 1867 d. 1949 )

William Sommer's work really widely recognized after his death; during his lifetime, he was active among the artists as a leader of the Kokoon Arts Club (1911-1946) whose members met often to draw and paint, exhibit, and celebrate. August Biehle and Henry Keller were among its prominent members. Sommer was friends with so many in the arts world: Revered poet, Hart Crane (wrote Sunday Morning Apples in his honor)—they relished their good times and memorable discussions with other writers, artists and patrons particularly at Laukhuff's Bookstore in the Taylor Arcade, (646 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland) and at Brandywine in the northwest corner of Northfield Township, Sommer's “retreat” for himself and his friends. Crane tried to lure Sommer to New York, where other than the acknowledgement of the massive influence of the Armory Show in 1913, it was never really comfortable to this affable member of this region's “community” where hills, valleys, grazing cattle, old frame farm houses do away with the straight line and give the artist forms that are simple and beautiful. Sommer leaves a legacy of vibrant, then “modern” portrait and scene paintings in light hues and with elegant strokes of drawing genius. This legacy is traceable mainly because of the interest of collectors like Joseph Erdelac and full exhibits early at the bookstore along with artists William Keller, Frank Wilcox, Charles Burchfield or the one at the Butler Museum of American Art within the last decade.


Yellow Cows
The City In 1833
Bach Chord