A photography masterpiece: People of the 20th Century
August Sander's photographs invite us to reflect, tell stories and dream. With his conceptual-objective documentary photography, he is regarded as a pioneer of modern photography.
The family through the generations (1912)
The family plays an important role in Sander's work. Many of the photographs of German families were originally commissioned works that were later added to his opus. Occasions included anniversaries, birthdays, baptisms, confirmations and weddings.
Young farmers (1914)
Three men are wearing wide-brimmed hats, with canes firmly in hand, as a cigarette casually hangs out of the corner of one of their mouths. Sander's "Young Farmers" is probably among the most famous of his photographs. The image even inspired Richard Powers for his novel "Three farmers on Their Way to a Dance." Today, however, it is clear that the gents were in fact miners.
The Confectioner (1928)
The master confectioner in a white coat and a mixing bowl stands confidently in front of his viewers. This photo from 1928 depicts a successful entrepreneur, who owns a flourishing business. Another photo of him, taken about ten years later, shows him as a widower with his sons.
Laborers in the Ruhr area (1928)
Worn shoes, baggy clothes, and rough hands: The photo of these laborers from the industrial Ruhr area of western Germany gives an indication of the daily graft in Weimar Republic of the 1920's. Sander photographed workers from all social classes not in a studio, but where they also practised their profession.
Austrian artist Raoul Hausmann (1929)
Artists often made popular models for Sander's photography. In 1929, he shot the painter, photographer and writer Raoul Hausmann, who became known as a representative of the avant-garde art movement known as Berlin Dadaism, with his novels and other literary works.
Girl in a circus van (1926-1932)
A shy look, a slight hand gesture: Where exactly is this girl from? Has she run away to the circus? Where is she headed next? The subjects of many of Sander's portraits, who often have little to no backstory, do invite viewers to create their own version of events.