Elke Sommer Lithographs

        ELKE SOMMER one of the most exciting exports from Germany for many a moon is unquestionably talented and vivacious. With over 50 motion pictures to her credit, she has been painting since childhood. She has major exhibitions in Rome, Munich, Beverly Hills, Hollywood and Chicago. Hans Engel, famous German artist and critic,
has this to say about her work. "Miss Sommer has an incredible ability to choose her themes which she applies with an individual style which gives her a most valuable and unique identity. Had I not known the artist, I would have thought I was looking at the efforts of a gifted pupil of Goya. I'm highly impressed with her style and predict she will play a major part in the art world it she so desires." "I would rather be known as an artist who acts". says Miss Sommer, "than an actress who paints".
           At home, Sommer discusses her dual careers as artist and actress with Perkins.  fluent in most European languages and  speaks English rapidly.    Our interview began while Jack  Perkins of NBC News and "Prime  Time" was taping a segment to be  aired this fall. The first session was in  Sommer and husband Joe Hyams'  Beverly Hills home.
            The home is  comfortable, but modest by Beverly  Hills' standards. The camera and lights  threw an odd perspective on the  furnishings-a massive collection of  pewter plates, pewter, late gothic  carvings, bits of sentimentality,  somber paintings and fresh flowers.     Sommer explains that, with only a  little formal training, she began  painting for herself, to fill wall with  color. And she still enjoys it.
        "I really  like my painting."     "I am really closest to me being  myself with paint. I paint anyplace.  When I am at home I paint outside, in  the nude, for up to eight hours at a  stretch. I paint with acrylics, so when  I'm finished I just jump in the pool."  Sommer has a very private yard and  pool.
         When asked about the wedding  theme in many of paintings she  explains, "I was married in a black wig  in a private ceremony because, at the  time, it was necessary," referring to a  need to avoid publicity for her  husband's sake. She speculates that the  privacy and perhaps lack of festive,  shared joy seen in a large wedding  motivates her to spend so much energy  on weddings.    She also identifies with ethnic  groups and finds the variations in  weddings intriguing. "The Wedding  Bath," an original sflk screen print  published in an edition of 325 and  retailing for $900, for instance, is  motivated by a folk tale.
    . "'The Wedding Bath' is a true story. A very rich farmer had two kids. One boy was very much in love with a very Above, "Night Visions" is distinctively Sommer, but contrasts sharply in mood with "The Wedding" below.  simple girl. But the farmer wanted him  to marry somebody with money."    Apparently the boy was  headstrong.
           "After a time he went  over to the village," Sommer said,  46 and she was washing in the pond and  was so flabbergasted at seeing him that  the only thing she could say was 'How  much are the eggs in your hand?' The  only thing she could say, a true story.    "Anyway, that's why he's holding  the eggs-a portent of what comes  later, right?" Article concludes at end of page.

   The museum framed lithographs are signed and numbered by Elke Sommer . Sommer photos were taken with a protective plastic wrap around the frame. Prices listed here are about half of the market price, (or the price you might pay in an art gallery). All glass frames are valued at around $150 each, however new frames and matte colors etc. would enhance the beauty of this colorful art. Click on several of the lithographs to see larger more detailed photos.

s/n Limited to 325 unless noted. Pencil signed by Elke.

1.  The 1st lithograph at the top of the page "The Wedding" is the largest 22"X29" and most popular litho. . Price $1200 Bid Price $800  Sold

 2. " Wedding Bath "   A preacher or holy person is administering a religious rite to a young girl. She discusses this in the above article. 21x 27 . $950 Bid Price $750.00

3. "The Beach" 22x 22  APPROX   $1000 Bid price $800
4. " Fiddler and Flute" A cat and dog lounge in the tree with the musicians. 21x27 APPROX  $1100 Bid Price $800
5. " Ice Skating on the River" Beautiful blue colors! 22 x 26 APPROX.  $950 Bid Price $750
6. "Folk Dancers" 25"x 20" $975 Bid Price $675.00
7. "Skates and Sleds" $950 Checkered blankets keep everyone warm. 21x26 APPROX .Bid.  Price $650
8. "Lovers" $900 One of Elke's favorites! 20X 26 APPROX BID PRICE $700
9. "Umbrella Wedding" A signed art print. Lower quality print; not a lithograph. $325 sold
10." Floating Donkey" $850 20X26 approx Bid Price $750

     At The Beach $800                                           Fiddler and Flute $800

      Ice Skating on the River $750                                                       Folk Dancers $775

      Skates and Sleds $750                                  Lovers $700

      Umbrella Wedding  $325             Floating Donkey $750
         Click for larger photo SOLD

            At home before cameras, Sommer illustrated a point with descriptive hand gestures. Village boys came in the water after me with polished shoes on."    Someone suggests that the boys were none too bright. And Sommer responds, "It's not dumb. It is passionate."
            During the taping the conversation somehow turned, abruptly, to the cost and placement of paintings. "If people want to pay it (these prices), that's great-I get a very small amount. I feel still a little unworthy even though I paint so long."

Photos of Elke Sommer!
Elke and Ed Weston
Elke and Towel
Elke and Dean Martin
Elke and Hugh O'Brian
Elke Portrait
Simply Elke
More Elke

            Sommer began painting shortly after beginning her film career, in the early 1960s.    In response to a query about her use of vivid, bright colors Sommer said, in the strongest terms, that paintings are not to be changed for a decorator's whim. "A painting is a painting. People take painting as decorative. I hate that."
            Putting the lie to the notion that her high sales volume is due only to her celebrity as a film actress is the factual account of her first exhibit. In the mid-1960s, in Germany, she showed her pictures anonymously under the name of "E. Schwartz." The paintings sold, and fast. They also brought good prices for a complete unknown.
          Further formal exhibits, such as her first one-woman show at the McKenzie Gallery in Los Angeles in 1968, have had, in almost every case, good reviews. And the galleries have been real galleries, not some agent's manipulated storefront.    Sommer's paintings sell for between $5,000 and $10,000 with a recent record high  of $10,500 set in Hawaii.
Reprinted from PLATE COLLECTOR September 15, 1979.
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