Sommer’s Children

November 27, 2020 - February 6, 2021

WOLFS is pleased to present the exhibition and sale “Sommer’s Children”, featuring the remarkable portraiture of early 20th century American modernist, William Sommer (1867–1949).


This intriguing display of over 40 works by William Sommer comes from numerous prestigious collections. Certainly one of the most important artists of the Cleveland School, William Sommer (1867-1949), was an early catalyst in the great success of Cleveland’s arts community. Among his accomplishments is the long list of many fine young artists he mentored, as well as co-founding the Kokoon Art Club. 

Sommer and his family settled in the Brandywine Falls, Ohio area in 1914. There, he found much inspiration in the farm life and landscape, as well as the surrounding neighborhood children. Many of whom are prominently represented in this upcoming exhibition.

This examination of Sommer’s portraiture, offers many poignant examples of his early modernist innovation. Known as Cleveland’s “ultra-modernist,” Sommer is typically admired for his landscapes and scenes of bucolic farms and animals. Here, we diverge from the typical, and present his thrilling, often unsettling portraiture of children.


Opening Friday and Saturday November 27th and 28th 11-6pm
continuing through February 6th Tuesday- Saturday 11-5pm.

WOLFS is following COVID-19 protocol, appointments can be made by CLICKING HERE, calling 216-721-6945 or emailing the gallery.


Browse the exhibition catalog with a scholarly essay by Martin Lerner.

Martin Lerner, scholar and collector, has become the foremost authority on American modernist William Sommer (1867-1949).  Former Senior Curator of Indian and Southeast Asian Art at New York’s Metropolitan Museum, Lerner first began collecting and studying Sommer in the 1960s while working at the Cleveland Museum. Certainly, at first, Sommer’s work was something of a departure for the Asian curator, who had nonetheless studied American art at an earlier point in his career. Sommer’s artwork ultimately became a passion with Lerner, for which Sommer collectors will be eternally grateful.



Exhibition catalogs are available for $20 postpaid | call or email to request a copy 216-721-6945


Click here to view the works in the exhibition.