Frederick Sommer Prescott, AZ, USA, American, born Italy, 1905 - 1999
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Frederick Sommer (American, born Italy, 1905 - 1999)
Gelatin silver print
24 x 18.9 cm (9 7/16 x 7 7/16 in.)
© Frederick and Frances Sommer Foundation
Against a backdrop of rusting metal, Frederick Sommer arranged a grouping of found objects. A clipboard clamp represents a head and shoulders while dirty, cracking doll's arms and legs provide more literal context, defining the object as a human body. Within that fragmented body, Sommer places a complete doll with its head pointed downward, as if ready to be born.
The photograph's French title, Valise d'Adam, or as Sommer translated it, Adam's Traveling Case, is a sly reference to the idea that man travels through woman into the world, and perhaps, woman even carries man through life.