"All of us are collectors. We are not simply collectors of prints or drawings, we are collectors of interesting moments. If we are alive, we saturate ourselves within states of affairs that we can support."

Frederick Sommer
"A Talk Given at the Art Institute of Chicago, 1970"

Exhibition history

Selected exhibitions in chronological order with exact dates when known. Shows we are specifically researching for additional information about are listed at the bottom. If you see omissions, corrections or can make additions we look forward to hearing from you.

For CURRENT exhibitions click on Current Info

Particularly significant one-man exhibitions or group shows, in bold type.

1932   First Annual Exhibition of Watercolor Painting
5-December to 8-January
California Palace of the Legion of Honor
"Buildings" accepted [Frederico Sommer]
Original with acceptance stamp in Frederick & Frances Sommer Foundation
1933   Increase Robinson Gallery
1936   One night show in Prescott
Monday Club, with Charles Dockum & Charles Tracy
1936   Six Americans
8-September to 19-September
Howard Putzel Gallery
1937   Frederick Sommer
Howard Putzel Gallery
1941   Images of Freedom
29-October to 1-Feb
Museum of Modern Art, NY (hereafter MOMA)
1946   New Photographers
18-June to 15-September
1946   Frederick Sommer [exact title not confirmed]
15-October to 11-November
Santa Barbara Museum of Art
1947   International Surrealist Exhibition
7-July to 30-September
Galerie Maeght, Paris, France
1948   In and Out of Focus: A Survey of Today's Photography
7-April to 11-July
1949   Photographs and Drawings by Frederick Sommer
14-February to 28-February
Charles Egan Gallery
1949   Realism in Photography
27-July to 25-September
1950   Photography at Mid-Century
30-April to 4-June
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
1950   51 American Photographers
2-August to 17-September
1951   Abstraction in Photography
2-May to 4-July
1952   Diogenes with a Camera I
21-May to 17-August
1952   Two Ways in Photography
1-December to 31-December
Institute of Design, Chicago, with Helen Levitt
1953   The West
1-June to 1-September
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
1953   Contemporary Photography
29-August to 4-October
1953   Contemporary American Photography
MOMA traveling show
Paris; Zurich; The Hague; Linz, Austria; Belgrade, Yugoslavia
1954   Subjective Fotografie 2
27-November to 27-January
1954   Camera Consciousness
(or the problems of photographing people as individuals)
George Eastman House
1954   [exact title not known]
Wittenborn Bookstore Gallery, NY
1955   Frederick Sommer
7-July to 26-July
Apartment Gallery Frank
1955   [an exhibit at the German-American Library, Karlsruhe, Germany]
Dec. to 31-January
German-American Library, with Charles Schleeter & Frederick O'Hara
1956   Contemporary American Photography
Musee d'Art Moderne, Paris
1957   Drawings, Paintings and Photographs
10-December to 17-January
Institute of Design, Chicago
1958   Photographs from the Museum Collection, MOMA
26-November to 18-January, 1959
1959   Photography in the Fine Arts :
An Exhibition of Great Contemporary Photographs
8-May to 7-September
Metropolitan Museum of Art
1959   Photographer's Choice
Dept. of Fine Arts, Indiana University, Bloomington
1959   Wittenborn Bookstore Gallery, NY
1960   The Sense of Abstraction
17-February to 10-April
1960   Recent Acquisitions
December 21, 1960 to February 5, 1961
1961   Director's Choice
Philadelphia Museum College of Art
1961   Twentieth-Century American Art
Kalamazoo Institute of Art
1962   Fifty Great Photographs from the Museum of Modern Art
April 3 to May 15
(cited as 50 Photographs by 50 Photographers at MOMA website)
1963   Frederick Sommer
9-March to 7-April
Art Institute of Chicago, curated by Hugh Edwards
1963   Photographs from the Southwest
1964   The Art of Photography
28-January to March
Cleveland Museum of Art
Four-man show with Philip Hyde, Brett Weston & Minor White
1964   Photography 64 / An Invitational Exhibition
New York Exposition, co-sponsored by GEH, Rochester
and New York State Exposition
1965   Contemporary Photographs from the GEH Collection 1900-1964
22-January to 22-February
George Eastman House, Rochester
1965   Photography in America 1850-1965
13-October to 28-November
Yale University Art Gallery
1965   Frederick Sommer: An Exhibition of Photographs
22-February to 1-April
Washington D.C., travels to
Pasadena Art Museum, CA, 25-May to 27-June
1965   Recent Acquisitions
5-October to 9-January, 1966
1967   Photography in the Twentieth-Century
16-February to 2-April
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
1967   Six Photographers
5-March to 9-April
University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana
1967   Three Photographers
3-October to 30-October
San Fernando Valley State College, with Wynn Bullock & Edmund Teske
1967   [Frederick Sommer, exact title unconfirmed]
May to 18-June
Museum of Northern Arizona
1968   Frederick Sommer
1-November to 30-November
Philadelphia College of Art, travels to:
RISD; Institute of Design, Chicago; SFMOMA, San Francisco
1969   Portrait Photographs
9-July to 28-September
1969   Human Concern / Personal Torment : The Grotesque in American Art
Whitney Museum of American Art
1969   Master Photographs from the Museum of Modern Art
1969   Photographs from the Coke Collection
Museum of Albuquerque
Travels to: New York (1971); Santa Fe, NM (1973); Davis, CA (1974)
1971   Thirteen Photographers
4-November to 5-December
Light Gallery, NY
This is the inaugural show,
the other 12 photographers were: Thomas Barrow, Michael Bishop, Wynn Bullock, Harry Callahan, Robert Fichter, Emmet Gowin, Roger Mertin, Bea Nettles, Prince, Aaron Siskind, Keith Smith and Todd Walker.
1972   [Frederick Sommer]
9-October to 4-November
Light Gallery, NY
1972   Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University
1973   [Frederick Sommer]
Light Gallery, NY
1973   After Audubon in Art
Thorne Memorial Art Gallery
1973   Landscape and Discovery
Emily Lowe Gallery, Hofstra University
1973   Light and Lens
Hudson River Museum
1973   Photographs from the Collection of the University of New Mexico
University of New Mexico Art Museum

  Photography in the Twentieth-Century
George Eastman House
Collage and the Photo-Image
17-July to 11-September
1974   Photography from the Coke Collection
20-February to 15-March
Art Gallery, University of California, Davis
1974   New Images In Photography
24-March to 21-April
Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami
1974   Photography in America
13-October to 28-November
Whitney Museum of American Art
1974   [Title unconfirmed]
26-October to 25-November
Columbia College Photography Gallery
1974   [Title unconfirmed]
1-November to 23-November
Carl Siembab Gallery
1974   Three Photographers
Lunn Gallery
1975   From the Center for Creative Photography
15-May through August
Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona
with Adams, Bullock, Callahan, Siskind, Sommer
1975   Picture Puzzles
12-August to 16-November
39 works by Robert Cumming, Clarence John Laughlin, Man Ray & Sommer
1976   Photographic Process as Medium
25-January to 7-March
Rutgers University Art Gallery
1976   The Photographer and the Artist
7-February to 6-March
Sidney Janis Gallery, NY
1976   Selections from the Center for Creative Photography Collection
20-March to 25-April
Tucson Museum of Art
1976   The Golden Door: Artist-Immigrants of America 1876-1976
20-May to 20-October
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
1976   American Photography of the Twentieth-Century:
Master Works from California Collections
Mount St. Mary's College Art Gallery
1976   Modern Portraits: The Self and Others
Wildenstein Gallery
1976   The UCLA Collection of Contemporary American Photographs
Frederick S. Wight Art Gallery, Univ. of California, Los Angeles
1976   Twentieth-Century Photographs
Montgomery Art Gallery, Pomona College
1977   Target Collection of American Photography
25-February to 1-May
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
1977   [Frederick Sommer]
9-March to 2-April
Light Gallery, NY with Michael Bishop and Carl Toth
1977   Arizona: Ansel Adams and Frederick Sommer
6-October to 4-November
Arizona Bank Galleria, Phoenix, Arizona
1977   Collecting Photographs: A Personal Choice
Collection from Barbara Kasten and Leland Rice
7-December to 1-January
Focus Gallery
1978   Dada and Surrealism Reviewed
10-January to 10-March
1978   Forty American Photographers
4-February to 5-March
E.B. Crocker Art Gallery
1978   Photographs from the Sam Wagstaff Collection
4-February to 26-March
Corcoran Gallery of Art, travels to five additional venues.
1978   The Photograph as Artifice
3-April to 30-April
The Art Galleries, California State University, Long Beach
Travels to: Grossmont Art Gallery, Pomona; Friends of Photography, Carmel; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, CA
1978   Amerikanische Landshaftsphotographie 1860-1978
1979   Frederick Sommer
7-September to 29-September
Light Gallery, NY, with William Larson
1979   Photographic Surrealism
3-October to 28-November
New Gallery of Contemporary Art
Travels to: Dayton Art Institute; Brooklyn Museum
1979   Frederick Sommer
9-October to 4-November
Art Museum, Princeton University
1979   Fabricated to be Photographed
16-November to 30-December
SFMOMA, 18 photographers, 112 photographs, travels to 4 venues
1979   Blair House - Vice President's Residence
c 1977 c 1981 Vice President's Residence: Blair House
1979   Abstract Photography in America: 1935-1950
Syracuse University, Lubin House
1979   Approaches to Photography: A Historical Survey
Amarillo Arts Center
1980   Frederick Sommer at Seventy-Five: A Retrospective
11-February to 9-March
Art Museum and Galleries, California State Univ., Long Beach
Travels to: Seattle Art Museum; Center for Creative Photography, Tucson; Art Museum, Univ. New Mexico, Albuquerque; Herbert F. Johnson Art Museum, Cornell University; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; added International Center for Photography, NY (Aug. 14 to Sept. 20, 1981)
1980   Light Abstractions
1-April to 30-April
University of St. Missouri, St. Louis
50 photographs by 10 photographers
Travels: April 1-April 30, Gallery 210, University of Missouri-St. Louis; May 18 - June 21 Museum of Art and Archaeology, Univ. of Mo./Columbia; June 30 - July 20, Minnesota Museum of Art; August 1 - August 28 Aspen Center for Visual Arts; September 14 - October 26 University Art Museum, University of New Mexico
1980   Photo-Collecting at Vassar, 100 Years + 10
7-April to 12-June
Vassar College Art Gallery
1980   Venus, Jupiter and Mars: Photographs of Frederick Sommer
28-April to 8-June
Delaware Art Museum, curated by John Weiss
1980   Cliché-verre: Hand-drawn, Light Printed:
A Survey of the Medium from 1839 to the Present
12-July to 12-August
Detroit Institute for the Arts, travels to, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
1980   Photography of the 50s: An American Perspective
28-September to 13-November
Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona, travels to: International Cent of Photography, NY; Minneapolis Institute of Art; Art Museum and Galleries, California State Univ., Long Beach; Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington
1981   Acquisitions 1973-1980
12-June to 20-September
George Eastman House
1981   American Landscapes
9-July to 4-October
39 photographers; 55 photographs
1981   Frederick Sommer: Photographs, Drawings and Musical Scores
17-October to 22-November
Serpentine Gallery, London
A version of the Long Beach show, Sommer at 75
1981   Twentieth-Century Photographs from the Museum of Modern Art
Seibu Museum
1982   Photography 1922-1982: Dialogue of the Young Generation
17-September to 12-October
Photokina, Cologne, Germany
1983   Two Men, Two Visions
8-September to 15-October
Fraenkel Gallery, with Faurest Davis
1984   Frederick Sommer: A Selection of Photographs and Drawings
3-March to 3-April
University of Bridgeport
1985   Signs of the Times :
Some Recurring Motifs in Twentieth-Century Photography
10-May to 14-July
SFMOMA, San Francisco
1985   Frederick Sommer :
An exhibition in honour of the photographer's 80th birthday
22-June to 25-September
High Museum of Art, Georgia
1986   Frederick Sommer: Photographs and Drawings
20-February to 22-March
Pace/MacGill Gallery, NY
1987   Photography and Art: Interactions Since 1946
4-June to 30-August
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
1987   A Collection Revisited
The Chrysler Museum
1988   Where Images Come From (Mistress of this World Has No Name)
12-March to 8-May
Denver Art Museum, travels to: Art Gallery of Hamilton, Ontario (June 2 - July 10); Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Aug. 6 - Oct. 16); Phoenix Art Museum (Nov. 19 - Jan. 15, 1989); Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth (Feb. 10 - April 9, 1989); Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City (Aug. 5-Sept. 24); Mills College, Oakland (Nov. 5-Dec. 17)
1988   Photographs by Frederick Sommer from the Indiana Art Museum
10-May to 26-June
University of Michigan, Museum of Art
1989   Symbol and Surrogate: the picture within
19-November to 22-December
University of Hawaii at Manoa Art Gallery
1990   Elective Affinities
12-October to 6-January
George Eastman House
1991   Dreams, Lies, and Exaggerations: Photomontage in America
21-October to 20-December
Art Gallery, University of Maryland at College Park
9 photographers: 122 photographs
1992   Frederick Sommer: Collages
11-July to 5-September
Turner/Krull Gallery, LA
1992   Frederick Sommer: Horizonless Landscapes
29-October to 28-November
Pace/MacGill Gallery, NY
1992   Frederick Sommer: Photograph and Collage
Photo Gallery International
1994   Experimental Vision: Evolution in the Photogram Since 1919
15-January to 27-March
Denver Art Museum
27 photographers: 50 photographs
1994   Frederick Sommer: 12 Collages
8-May to 7-August
Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona
1994   Frederick Sommer: Works from the Collection 1940-1990
13-September to 23-October
The Art Museum, Princeton University
1994   Frederick Sommer: Poetry and Logic
6-December to 12-February
J. Paul Getty Museum
1994   Recent Collages
8-December to 14-January
Pace/MacGill Gallery, NY
1994   American Surrealist Photography from the Collection
15-April to 5-July
1995   Frederick Sommer: The Elegant Kinship of Constellations, photographs, collages, and drawings
Guest Curator Leland Rice
8-September to 12-October
Center for Photographic Art, Carmel California
1995   Language of Light:
Masterworks from the collection organized by the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film
18-November to 15-January
Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography
1996   Enduring Illusion
Photographs from the Stanford University Museum of Art
16-January to 28-April
Stanford University Museum of Art
1996   Desert
12-April to 19-May
South London Gallery, eight photographers, curated by Jim Harold
1996   Perceptual Mirage: Photography Narratives of the Desert West
22-June to 22-September
Whitney Museum of American Art
1996   Frederick Sommer: Early and Late 1939 & 1995
15-November to 18-January
Pace/MacGill, LA, travels to Pace/MacGill, NY in 1997
1996   Certain Uncertainties
Bowdoin College Museum of Art
1997   Frederick Sommer: Early and Late 1939 & 1995
27-February to 5-April
Pace/MacGill Gallery, NY
1998   Picturing Creativity
3-April to 31-May
Bowdoin College Museum of Art
1998   Photography at Princeton:
Celebrating 25 Years of Collecting
and Teaching the History of Photography
3-October to 3-January
The Art Museum, Princeton University
1999   Transmutation: Silver Prints
2-February to 14-March
Bowdoin College Museum of Art
With Callahan, Cunningham, Gowin, Kertesz & Man Ray
1999   Radical Past: Contemporary Art and Music in Pasadena, 1960-1974
7-February to 11-April
Norton Simon Museum
1999   Frederick Sommer: Photographs & Collages
31-March to 20-June
Baltimore Museum of Art
1999   Photographs from the Collection
25-April to 5-July
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
1999   An Eclectic Focus: Photographs from the Vernon Collection
26-June to 5-September
Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Travels to Cologne, Germany & Jerusalem.
1999   Frederick Sommer: Paintings, Photographs, Drawings
28-October to 27-November
Pace/MacGill Gallery, NY
2000   Frederick Sommer: Anatomies
4-July to 20-August
Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie d'Arles (France), Curator Paula Aisemberg, informal commentary by Naomi Lyons in the amphitheater after the slide presentation “Frederick Sommer: Solitude in Arizona.”
2001   Double Vision: Photographs from the Strauss Collection
30-January to 11-March
University Art Museum, California State Univ., Long Beach
2002   Taken by Design: Photographs from the Institute of Design, 1937-1971
2-March to 12-May
2002   The Art of Frederick Sommer
4-October to 2-November
Yavapai Community College, Prescott, Arizona
2002   Retrospectable: Photography Gallery 7th Floor
16-November to 28-February
Denver Art Museum
2002   Western Landscape
Utah Museum of Art
2003   Recent Acquisitions: Modern and Contemporary Art
8-June to 3-August
Snite Museum of Art
2003   The Discerning Eye: Southern California Collects
7-September to 4-January
Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego
2003   Emmet Gowin: Changing the Earth
18-October to 3-January
Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona
During the exhibit of Gowin’s work approximately five images of Sommer’s were put up along with Callahan's to show the mentor relationship the two artists shared with Emmet Gowin.
2004   Photographer's of Genius
16-March to 25-July
Getty Museum
2004   In the Center of Things: A Tribute to Harold Jones
3-April to 18-July
Center for Creative Photography
2004   Frederick Sommer: photographs and musical scores
10-April to 15-May
Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica
2004   Visionary Anatomies
15-September, October 21 and November 18
Keck Center, Washington D.C
& at NAS Building January through May, 2005.
Two collages in a show of 18 works by 11 artists.
2005   Each of the exhibits in 2005 were uniquely formed exhibitions (not a traveling show) that reflect the interests of the curator and most were single-artist presentations.

Frederick Sommer: Illusions and Distortions
Victoria & Albert Museum
20-January to 3-April

Consent to Gravity
Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)
28-January to 22-May

One review of the exhibition by Bill Rodriguez at the  Providence Phoenix March 11-17 issue.

Frederick Sommer: A Centennial Tribute
The J. Paul Getty Museum, California
10-May to 4-September
A display of 37 photographs, including very rare photographs dating from c.1935, before Sommer took up the 8x10 camera.
   A great webpage, "Preview Art" for the Sommer show at the Getty worth looking at and listening to.  Several objects and backgrounds that were used in creating the photographs are included in the exhibition.

The Art of Frederick Sommer: Photography, Drawing, Collage - A Centennial Celebration
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
14-May to 31-July

Frederick Sommer: Collages
Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica
21-May to 25-June

Frederick Sommer at 100
Pace/MacGill Gallery, NYC
1-September to 1-October
A review of the show appeared in the "Art in Review" section of the New York Times Friday, September 9, 2005, by Ken Johnson.

Allegorical Constellations:
  Works on Paper by Frederick Sommer

University of New Mexico Art Museum, Albuquerque
6-September to 20-November
  A mix of work from public and private collections plus pieces from the Sommer Foundation and is a really beautiful show of the full variety of Sommer's work, including unique musical scores.

The Terrain of Seeing

Etherton Gallery
September 6 - November 5
Tucson, Arizona, with Mark Klett and Michael Berman. Review of the show appeared in the the Tucson Weekly September 15 edition, by Margaret Regan.
Etherton Archive of the show.

The Photographs of Frederick Sommer:
  a centennial tribute

Snite Museum of Art at Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana
September 11 - November 27, 2005
Frederick Sommer Drawings and Photographs

Faggionato Fine Arts: 42 E. 76th St. 4th Fl., NYC
November 4 – December 22, extended to January 21
    Faggionato draws from a private collection of 24 drawings and 11 photographs, originally acquired from the estate of the well-known Parisian publisher Christian Zervos.  This collection allows a rare view of the artist making parallel progress in two distinct image languages – photography and drawing.

The Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany
Nützlich, süß, museal. Das fotografierte Tier
October 22, 2005 - January 15, 2006,
included Sommer's Jack Rabbit, 1939.

See also Current Info

2006   Fresh Eyes: Emerging Photographic Talent of the West
Phippen Museum of Western Art, Prescott, AZ
January 14 - April 15, 2006

Faggionato Fine Art, London June 8 - August 25, 2006

Whitney exhibition Full House June 28 - October 8, 2006 (staggered closing dated), includes "Horse, 1945"

Wheaton College, Massachusetts hosted
'Consent to Gravity' September 15, 2006.

Intersections: Atlanta Collects Photography at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta through January 7, 2007 and includes "Coyotes, 1945" and "Arizona Landscape, 1943" by Sommer

University of Delaware, Rhode Island, is hosting 'Visionary Anatomies' from September 19 - December 10, 2006.

"Intersections: Atlanta Collects Photography" at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta through January 7, 2007 and includes "Coyotes, 1945" and "Arizona Landscape, 1943" by Sommer

Norton Simon Museum presents "The Collectible Moment" through February 26, 2007 which includes 13 vintage prints (smoke on glass, paint on cellophane and out of focus nudes) given by Sommer at the conclusion of his exhibit there in 1965, at the then Pasadena Art Museum under Walter Hopps' direction...Several reviews of the show have been posted online -
 Review 1; Review 2:
2007   Visionary Anatomies continues to tour and includes two collages by Sommer: The Art League of Long Island, Dix Hill, NY, April 7 - June 17, 2007; Art Museum of Western Virginia, August 8, 2007 - October 28, 2007

The Modern West: American Landscapes, 1890-1950
includes two "Horse, 1945" and an "Arizona Landscape" (a rare version). Exhibit opened at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and traveled to LACMA (March 4 - June 3, 2007)

At MOMA in NYC, the Edward Steichen Photography Gallery, 3rd floor, features ongoing exhibitions from the collection.  An "Arizona Landscape, 1943" is included in the current installation through July 16, 2007. 

Pace/MacGill includes three Frederick Sommer landscapes in the summer show "Hot + Bothered" (July 11-August 24, 2007).

Getty current exhibitions "In Focus: the nude" October 9, 2007 - February 23, 2008...includes Sommer.

2008   Frederick Sommer January 22, 2008 - April 12, 2008.  Includes photographs, scores and collage.  Symposium on Sunday, February 17, 2008 with Naomi Lyons
(FFSF trustee) and Julian Cox (curator, High Museum, Atlanta).  Eleanor D. Wilson Museum, Holllins University
Special Event APRIL 12 --  Hollins Photography Festival -- with Holly Roberts, Lori Nix, and Christa Bowden

"Presumed Innocence: Photographic Perspectives of Children" at the Cordova Museum from February 2 - April 27, 2008, includes a print of Livia, 1948 along with a notable selection of photographers.

Yale University Art Gallery "From Any Angle: Photographs from the Collection of Doris Bry" May 23 - September 7, 2008 includes an early landscape by Frederick Sommer.
Our thanks to Sarah Stolfa and Ash Anderson for their excellent correspondence on this project.

Haunch of Venison, New York includes 'Sumare' by Sommer in "Abstract Expressionism - A World Elsewhere" organized by David Anfam
September 12 to November 21, 2008

2009   January 31 - May 13, 2009, extended Aug. 9, 2009
Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind and Frederick Sommer Scottsdale Museum of Art: details at SMOCA.

A significant group of images by Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind and Frederick Sommer will be shown at Scottsdale Museum of Art
Exhibition dates and details at SMOCA.
Accompanying publication: Radius Press Book description

REVIEW Feb. 15, 2008 - Arizona Republic
REVIEW Feb. 28, 2008 - The Republic

The February 19, Gallery talk with Claire Carter, Naomi Lyons and Jeremy Cox was recorded available here ~1 hour .wav

July 16, Claire Carter, "Lineage: tracing generations of American Photography" Stage 2 theater at SMOCA

August 28 (reception) - September 25, 2009
"Sommer School : Art Education and Frederick Sommer" at Prescott College Art Gallery, Sam Hill Warehouse (Tues - Sat. 11-3).  Exhibition included over 40 works dating from 1935-1995 in the media of photography, drawing, collage and painting. Wall texts and jpeg illustrations at Prescott College can be download here

PC press release
PC Video press release, Daily Courier

GALLERY 'Insights into Sommer' with Naomi Lyons
Friday, September 25, 6pm. A 45-60 minute gallery visit with Naomi Lyons who worked with Sommer for 13 years.  She is able to speak broadly about the work presented, Sommer's ideas and field questions that may be posed. 

Philadelphia Museum of Art
Frederick Sommer : Photographs

October 3, 2009 - January 3, 2010,
Press Release Sommer : Press Release Exhibitions
Additional postings: Art Daily
Additional postings: Art Knowledge
Additional postings: Unsung
Additional postings: An Elegant Little Show
"Frederick Sommer (1905-1999) crafted a body of art inflected by Surrealist ideas and distinguished by his meticulous love for the art of photographic printing, his broad knowledge of art history, and a keen sense of how the parts of a picture come together to produce meaning. This exhibition surveys five decades of his photography, including disorienting compositions such as “Arizona Landscape” (1943), a horizon-less image that only gradually resolves its components into a desolate desert scene, and equally bewildering subjects such as “Max Ernst” (1946), an exhibition highlight, in which Sommer experimented with layered negatives, superimposing an image of a rock onto a portrait of his friend Ernst, the pioneering Dada and Surrealist artist, to create the illusion of a human morphing into rock.

The first exhibition of Sommer’s work in Philadelphia since 1968, Frederick Sommer Photographs presents some 40 images spanning the artist’s career, along with a small number of drawings and collages. Included is a rare suite of macabre yet poignant photographs the artist made in 1939 using chicken parts collected from his butcher.

Curator: Peter Barberie, Curator of Photographs, with Julia Dolan, The Horace W. Goldsmith Curatorial Fellow in Photography, Location: The Alfred Stieglitz Center Gallery"

University of Oklahoma Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
The Creative Eye: Selections from the Carol Beesley Collection of Photographs, in Honor of Michael Hennagin
November 7, 2009 - January 3, 2010

High Museum of Art, Atlanta
Look Again: A Selection from the Permanent Collection
August 15, 2009 - January 10, 2010 includes work by Sommer.

Phoenix Art Museum
Face to Face : 150 Years of Photographic Portraits
September 19, 2009 - January 10, 2010 includes work by Sommer.

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
'Hide and Seek: Picturing Childhood'
September 26, 2009 - February 21, 2010 includes "Livia, 1948" by Sommer - Additional Publicity
Additional Publicity II

Princeton University Art Museum will have an exhibit (honoring) Emmet Gowin : A Collective Portrait which will include a Frederick Sommer, along with other mentors work, Gowin's work and that of 20 students from throughout Gowin's 35 years at Princeton.  October 24, 2009 - February 21, 2010
Review : Light and Shadow Play
Review : Philadelphia Inquirer

2010   See Current Info page for exhibitions up right now

Mills College Art Museum
"In Focus: Photography from the Mills College Art Museum Collection," January 20 - March 14, 2010

Syracuse University Art Galleries,
"At the Crossroads of American Photography:
Callahan, Siskind, Sommer"

January 24 - March 17
Additional Publicity
February 19, 2009, Gallery talk with Claire Carter, Naomi Lyons and Jeremy Cox during the
"Callahan, Siskind, Sommer" exhibition at SMOCA, available here ~1 hour .wav

NYC, MOMA has reinstalled the Edward Steichen Photography Galleries on the third floor and included Sommer's "Glass, 1943" as part of the exhibit
(through March 22, 2010).

Bruce Silverstein Gallery
"Frederick Sommer:
Drawing, Photography, Painting, Collage"

February 6 - March 20
Art News review
Fugitive Vision review
New Yorker review 'Chelsea' towards bottom.
"FREDERICK SOMMER...this sprawling, museum-quality survey shows how closely his photography, drawing, painting, and collage work were linked..."
Brooklyn Rail review
DLK Blog review 3 stars (highest) "...first can't miss show of 2010, as it take what we know about one of the masters of the medium and explodes it outward..."
  A 6mb download of the catalog can be found
by clicking PDF here

RISD Museum of Art
"Presence through Process"
From RISD's announcement, "'The desire to depict the perceptual and physical experience of the human body, rather than merely its appearance, can serve as a catalyst for photographic experimentation.  This exhibit presents works by Emmet Gowin, Vik Muniz, Frederick Sommer, Lesley Dill, and other artists exploring the poetics and politics of the human figure. Featured is a cross-section of photographic processes from the latter half of the 20th century, from camera manipulation to more direct registers of presence."
January 15 - June 20, 2010

Metropolitan Museum of Art
Surface Tension: Contemporary Photographs from the Collection
September 15, 2009 – June 13, 2010
A paint on cellophane by Sommer is included

At the Art Institute of Chicago
"Works by Frederick Sommer"
August 7 - October 10, 2010

At the Phoenix Art Museum
"Creative Continuum : The History of the Center for Creative Photography"
July 24 - November 28, 2010
Review - AZ Republic
Review - East Valley Tribune

Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute ( The Clark),
December 14, 2010, Robin Kelsey, "visiting professor of Art History in the Williams College Graduate Program in Art History, presented the lecture "War Work: The Photography of Frederick Sommer, 1938-1945"

At the Getty Museum "In Focus: Still Life"
September 14, 2010 - January 23, 2011

Museum of Modern Art, NYC
"Abstract Expressionist New York"
October 3, 2010 - April 25, 2011
Includes Sommer's "Sumare"
Heads Up Announcement - Lindsay Pollock

2011   Bruce Silverstein Gallery Frederick Sommer
"Choice and chance structure Art and Nature"
February 24 - April 2, 2011
City Arts - review
DLK - review

2012   Tate, Britain
January 13, 2012
Symposium "Landscape and Eschatology" with a presentation by John Timberlake on Frederick Sommer.

Museum of Modern Art, NYC
May 13, 2011 - February 2012
Includes Sommer's "Smoke on Cellophane 5, 1961" as part of the current photography exhibit.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
"Modernist Photography: 1910 - 1950"
July 30, 2011 - April 1, 2012
Includes Sommer, Sheeler, Weston, Siskind, Levitt.
Two reviews are posted at MFA, Boston's site.

2013   A World of Bonds: Frederick Sommer's Photography and Friendships July 16 - August 4, 2013 at the National Gallery of Art with 27 photographs, prints, collages and drawings. NGA Site

"Shifting Sands: the Beach and the Desert in 20th-Century Photographs" through October 13, 2013
Stanford - Cantor Arts Center

"Real/Surreal" at the Akron Art Museum,
July 20 - November 3, 2013
Akron Art Museum

2014   Under the Surface: Surrealist Photography
Bowdoin College Museum of Art
February 27 - June 1, 2014 and related talk with Robin Kelsey on February 28, 2014.

2015   Refer to Current Events for exhibitions as we become aware of them in 2015.


Exhibits that we are specifically researching for additional documentation

1933   Details of the show at the Increase Robinson Gallery, Chicago.
1938   January or February at Howard Putzel Gallery, Los Angeles.
1941   Surrealist exhibitions during Feb-May at the New School for Social Research
1953   A fall show at Allan Frumkin Gallery, Chicago.
1954   More about the Wittenborn show of 1954
1959   More about the Wittenborn show of 1959

If your museum has archive files related to a show in which Frederick Sommer was included we would appreciate that information.

Last revisions to dates - March 2015