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Frederick Sommer (American, 1905-1999)

Frederick Sommer began his career as a landscape architect and city planner in Brazil. He contracted tuberculosis and convalesced in the American Southwest. Influenced by Strand and Weston, and by meetings with Stieglitz in 1935, he became known for his unsettling Arizona studies "Animal Entrails" and "Dried Carcasses," and his startling images of the desert landscape. In 1940, Sheeler and Ernst encouraged his experiments in cameraless negatives, cliché verre, smoke on glass, paint on cellophane, cut-paper images and musical notation as art. His exhibition "Diogenes with a Camera" was shown at MOMA, in 1952. Sommer taught at the Institute of Design, Chicago.
- Jill Alikas St. Thomas

Selected Bibliography
Sommer, Frederick. Frederick Sommer: Photographs, Drawings, Musical Scores. London: Arts Council of Great Britain, 1981.

Enyeart, James. Words and Images. Tucson: Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona, 1984.

Sommer, Frederick. Venus, Jupiter and Mars: The Photographs of Frederick Sommer. Wilmington: The Delaware Art Museum, 1980.


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