August Sander. Citizens of the Twentieth Century

out of print

Compiled by Susanne Lange, Gabriele Conrath-Scholl and Gerd Sander

August Sander (17 November 1876 in Herdorf, Germany; † 20 April 1964 in Cologne) was a German portrait and documentary photographer.
Sander was the son of a carpenter working in the mining industry. While working at a local mine, Sander first learned about photography by assisting a photographer who was working for a mining company. With financial support from his uncle, he bought photographic equipment and set up his own darkroom.
He spent his military service (1897 – 1899) as a photographer's assistant, and the next years wandering across Germany. In 1901, he started working for a photo studio in Linz, eventually becoming a partner (1902), and then its sole proprietor (1904). He left Linz at the end of 1909 and set up a new studio in Cologne.
In the early 1920s, Sander joined the "Group of Progressive Artists" in Cologne and began plans to document contemporary society in a portrait series. In 1927, Sander and writer Ludwig Mathar traveled through Sardinia for three months, where he took around 500 photographs. However, a planned book detailing his travels was not completed.
Sander's first book Face of our Time was published in 1929. It contains a selection of 60 portraits from his series People of the 20th Century. Under the Nazi regime, his work and personal life were greatly constrained. His son Erich, who was a member of the left wing Socialist Workers' Party (SAP), was arrested in 1934 and sentenced to 10 years in prison, where he died in 1944, shortly before the end of his sentence. Sander's book Face of our Time was seized in 1936 and the photographic plates destroyed. Around 1942, during World War II, he left Cologne and moved to a rural area, allowing him to save most of his negatives. His studio was destroyed in a 1944 bombing raid.
Sander's work includes landscape, nature, architecture, and street photography, but he is most well known for his portraits, as exemplified by his series 'People of the 20th Century'. In this series, he aims to show a cross-section of society during the Weimar RepublicBy 1945, Sander's archive included over 40,000 images.

ISBN-13: 9783892600064

7 volumes, 1436 pages, 619 tritone plates. Size: 21.5 × 28.5 cm, hardcover,slipcaseslipcase.English/French/German edition

Schirmer/Mosel, München, 2008 (new edition)