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Degree Name

MFA (Master of Fine Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Michael Smith

Committee Members

David B. Dixon, David G. Logan


This paper discusses the twentieth century American artist Frederick Sommer (1905-1999) and a subject that concerned him throughout his career: the image of the body. From his visceral photographs of the late 1930s to the finely organized anatomical collages of the 1990s, Sommer engaged the image of the body as primary subject matter.

Sommer’s revisioning of the body—earth, animal, and human—characterized his life’s work, informed his most striking imagery, and enabled the realization of his aesthetic achievement. The centrality of the body throughout Sommer’s oeuvre, as primary visual material and organizational metaphor, is the theme of this study.

Document Type

Thesis - restricted


Copyright by the authors.