Rachel Davis Fine Arts
Live Auction

Fine Art at Auction- Sale 253

Sat, Oct 21, 2023 09:30AM EDT
Lot 149

William Sommer watercolor

Estimate: $10,000 - $15,000

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William Sommer (American 1867-1949)

A Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from Laukhoff's Bookstore

watercolor, charcoal, pencil and pastel on paper, ca. 1920's, signed Wm. Sommer lower right, framed.     51 x 17"

Exhibited: Hired Hands: Cleveland Illustrator Then and Now, 1920-2002- Cleveland Artist's Foundation at the Beck Center, Lakewood, OH  Dec. 2002- March 2003

German emigre Richard Laukhuff opened a bookstore at 40 Taylor Arcade in downtown Cleveland in 1916.  Liberal-minded Laukhoff soon became friendly with Cleveland artist William Sommer, and grew to become the strongest early advocate of Sommer's "Modernist" art in Cleveland.  From the time it opened, and throughout the 1920's.  Laukhuff's bookstore attracted a free-thinking, intellectual clientele and served as a place for discussion about art, politics, music and poetry.  Laukhuff regularly carried banned books or books not found anywhere else in the Cleveland area.  Laukhuff reserved an entire wall of his book store for the exhibition of paintings by modernist artists.  This unusual work was one that Sommer created specifically for Laukhuff as a Christmas greeting poster.  Laukhuff hung it in his shop during the holidays every year he was in business and never had it reproduced.  Laukhuff died at age 81 in the early 1950s.  His wife ran the store for a few years and then gave up the business.  


Staining and soiling verso.

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Private collection- Rocky River, OH