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August Sander

August Sander, born in Germany in 1876, began his photographic career as an assistant in a studio in Trier. By 1904 he had his own studio in Linz, Austria. Sander moved to Cologne in 1909 and soon began to abandon studio work in favour of exploring the local Westerwald region by bicycle in search of subjects for his portraits. The photographic document he began to produce became his life’s work. People of the Twentieth Century, a collection of over 600 photographs, sub-divided into categories — The Farmer, The Skilled Tradesman, The Woman, Classes and Professions, The Artists, The City and The Last People — was an attempt to typologically catalogue a people. The reality depicted by Sander ran contrary to that being projected by the Nazis, which resulted in a body of his work being destroyed and the rest banned. Sander’s focus turned to landscape, until he once again resumed his project at the end of World War II.

Books by August Sander
Zeitgenossen: August Sander und die Kunstszene der 20er Jahre im Rheinland
Other artists