(1905 - 1998) was born in Pittsburgh, Pa. He studied art at the
Leighton Art School and Wisconsin State Teachers College. In the
late 1920's, he moved to New York City to study at the Art Students
League with Max Weber and George Grosz, and in 1929 married Margaret
Wehrle, a fashion illustrator and artist. In the 1930's he started
a custom framing business in Greenwich Village, which he later sold
to devote his time to painting and drawing. (continued
Jetty, oil on panel; 20" x 14 3/8"
In the 1940's
during World War II, Sommerfeld drew more than 500 portraits of
servicemen during his tour of duty with the USO Camp Shows in Europe,
North Africa, the Middle East, and the South Pacific. He and his
wife were among the founders of the Washington Art Association in
Washington, Conn., where they retired in 1978.
landscapes are remarkable for both what is present in them and what
is absent from them. The contours and colors of the land emerge
in their spare simplicity.
primarily in oil in a style that moves from impressionism to abstraction.
When he died in 1998, Sommerfeld left a legacy of more than 1500
landscapes, cityscapes, portraits, nudes, and still-lifes.
work has been shown in numerous galleries and museums, including
the Metropolitan Museum and the National Academy of Design in New
York City, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the Carnegie
International in Philadelphia, Pa. His work is in many private collections
and is in the permanent collections of the New Britain Museum and