Miriam Sommerburg

German, 1900-1980

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Miriam Sommerburg

German, 1900-1980

Biography

Before being forced to flee Germany during the outbreak of World War II, Miriam Sommerburg had an established career as a prominent and sought-after woodcut artist. There she studied with Richard Luksich and Friederich Alder. Ultimately, she settled in the United States and began to explore a vast range of materials and techniques, including oil painting, watercolor, other methods of printmaking, and sculpture. At times, she applied her woodblock techniques to these new media—for example, by using incisions to add texture to a painting. Sommerburg was interested in exploring relationships and human emotions, which did not waver through her move. She famously said, “Art doesn’t belong on a pedestal. It belongs to the ordinary people and should be treated honestly.”

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Biography

Before being forced to flee Germany during the outbreak of World War II, Miriam Sommerburg had an established career as a prominent and sought-after woodcut artist. There she studied with Richard Luksich and Friederich Alder. Ultimately, she settled in the United States and began to explore a vast range of materials and techniques, including oil painting, watercolor, other methods of printmaking, and sculpture. At times, she applied her woodblock techniques to these new media—for example, by using incisions to add texture to a painting. Sommerburg was interested in exploring relationships and human emotions, which did not waver through her move. She famously said, “Art doesn’t belong on a pedestal. It belongs to the ordinary people and should be treated honestly.”