Thursday, March 31, 2016

People of the Twentieth Century – Photographs From the Classic Portrait Survey of German Life From Between the 1910s and 1930s

August Sander (1876 – 1964) was a German portrait and documentary photographer. He has been described as "the most important German portrait photographer of the early twentieth century."

In 1911, Sander began with the first series of portraits for his work People of the 20th Century. In the early 1920s, he came in contact with the Cologne Progressives, a radical group of artists linked to the workers' movement which, as Wieland Schmied put it, "sought to combine constructivism and objectivity, geometry and object, the general and the particular, avant-garde conviction and political engagement, and which perhaps approximated most to the forward looking of New Objectivity [...] ". In 1927, Sander and writer Ludwig Mathar travelled through Sardinia for three months, where he took around 500 photographs. However, a planned book detailing his travels was not completed.


The man of the soil, Germany, 1910

Young farmers, Germany, 1914

Widower, Germany, 1914

Painter, Germany, 1928

Farming family, Germany, 1913-1914

The woman of progressive intellect, Germany, 1914

Village schoolteacher, Germany, 1921

Publisher, Germany, 1928

Mother and daughter. Farmer's wife and miner's wife, Germany, 1912

Middle-class child, Germany, 1925

The philosopher, Germany, 1913

Forester's family, Germany, 1925

Country girls, Germany, 1925

Writer and journalist, Germany, 1926

Showman, Germany, 1930

The butcher's apprentice, Germany, 1911-1914

Farm children, Germany, 1913

Art dealer, Germany, 1927

Young farmers, Germany, 1926

Conductor, Germany, 1924-1928

Circus artistes, Germany, 1926-1932

Dance teacher, Germany, 1932

Mother and daughter, Germany, 1926

Merchant's clerk, Germany, 1912

Match-seller, Germany, 1927

Cleaning woman, Germany, 1928

Master mason, Germany, 1926-1932

Production engineer, Germany, 1933

Varnisher, Germany, 1930

Industrialist, Germany, 1920

Itinerant mason, Germany, 1927

Bricklayer, Germany, 1928

The notary, Germany, 1924

Middle-class children, Germany, 1925

Fraternity student, Germany, 1925

Member of the hitler youth, Germany, 1938

National socialist, Germany, 1935

National socialist, Germany, 1937-1938

National socialist, Germany, 1935

Soldier, Germany, 1940

(Photos © August Sander)

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