Sander August
Tree young farmers
August Sander

August Sander

About the artist

1876 — 1964

August Sander, the German portrait photographer and social documentarian, was born in 1876 in the Kingdom of Prussia. He was already in his late forties when he embarked on the defining project of his career: People of the Twentieth Century, a seven-volume undertaking. The project comprised some 619 portraits of farmers, tradesmen, artists, aristocrats, professionals and homeless people, among others.

Sander belonged to the New Objectivity movement within art, gravitating toward truth and realism in his photography. He sought out his subjects, and his work can be read as commentary on the politics of class, gender and identity. In this sense, it was not apolitical: Face of Our Time (1929), Sander's first published photography book, was censored by the Nazis for its apparent ideology.

Although his People anthology was never completed, Sander continued adding to it until his death in 1964. He has been exhibited globally, with the entirety of People collected by MoMA in New York, and has become one of the most enduringly influential figures in portraiture.

Technical information

Image 1: Tree young farmers, 1914
Size: 17,25 x 13,25 cm 
Print techique: gelatin silver

Image 2: Winkeladvokat, 1944 - 1952
Size: 30,2 x 22 cm 
Print techique: platinum print
Extra: text on reverse