The Spinach Tree

The Spinach Tree


William Sommer

(American, 1867-1949)


Sheet: 39.4 x 50.8 cm (15 1/2 x 20 in.)

Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Theodor W. Braasch 1961.324



Although many American artists abandoned
avant-garde art after 1918, Sommer continued to
exaggerate form and color for emotional effect. This
watercolor was likely inspired by his observations
of rural life around his home in the Cuyahoga
Valley. Although the site appears recognizable,
his principal concern was creating lyrical designs
that convey his inner thoughts and emotions. Like
Charles Burchfield (also in this exhibition), his
favorite motifs included suns, moons, and other
cosmic forces that, according to ancient mythology,
govern human destiny.

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