August Sander

Small Town Girl, 1927 (1927)

About this artwork

‘The Small-Town Dweller’ is a portfolio in the group ‘The Farmer’, one of seven groups of August Sander’s documentation of different ‘types’ of German people, ‘People of the 20th Century’. Sander organised the work of over 500 images by the living environment, estate and profession of the subjects and in this portfolio sought to represent the familial and social experiences of the farmer. ‘The Small-Town Girl’ is included in the portfolio ‘The Small-Town Dweller’ and shows a young woman at her window, looking out, in contrapposto pose. Steadying herself on the window ledge, she opens the window with her left hand, inviting the viewer into her private sphere. The dark background frames her figure and the photograph boasts a wealth of textural detail such as the cracking paint on the wooden window frame, the rough wall, her lace collar and the curtains lit evenly by the sun. Her shy smile is an unusual feature in Sander’s photographic oeuvre and suggests an intimacy absent from his usual typologies.

see media
  • title: Small Town Girl, 1927
  • accession number: AL00027
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: 1927
  • measurements: 25.80 x 18.70 cm (paper 44.00 x 34.00 cm; mount: 46.00 x 36.00 cm) (framed: 48.20 x 38.20 x 3.20 cm)
  • credit line: ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Lent by Anthony d'Offay 2010
  • copyright: © Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur - August Sander Archiv, Köln/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn and DACS, London 2016.
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms

August Sander

August Sander

Considered one of the finest photographers of the twentieth century, Sander's bold style of portrait photography, as well as his typological approach, has had an enormous influence on modern photography. During his apprenticeship in several German studios and his time in his own studio in Austria, he developed his individual style. Then in 1910 Sander moved to Cologne and produced his first large group of photographs, which he later included in his concept "People of the 20th Century". This was created in the mid-1920s and compiled up until the 1950s. He photographed groups of people in his native Germany, classifying them according to their occupations and positions in society.