Mother and Son [Lou Straus-Ernst and her son Jimmy], 1928 (1928)
About this artwork
Though this photograph shares its title with another image in the portfolio entitled ‘Woman and Child’, within the group ‘The Woman’ in August Sander’s documentary project ‘People of the 20th Century’, its subjects could not be more different. In 1917, Lou [Luise] Straus-Ernst was the first woman to earn a PhD in art history from the University of Bonn. She was married to the artist Max Ernst and helped found the Cologne Dada movement in 1919. Dressed in light summer clothes, she and her son Jimmy share a distinct family resemblance in their facial features and serious expressions. Their intimacy is indicated in their pose – her left arm around his shoulder and their right hands clasped together on her lap. Lou fled to France to escape the National Socialists, but was arrested in June 1944 and deported to Auschwitz where she died.
- title: Mother and Son [Lou Straus-Ernst and her son Jimmy], 1928
- accession number: AL00047
- artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
- gallery: In Storage
- object type: Photograph
- materials: Black and white photograph on paper
- date created: 1928
- measurements: 25.70 x 20.10 cm (paper 44.40 x 33.80 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: © Photograph. Samml. / SK Stiftung Kultur - A. Sander Archiv, Köln /VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn and DACS, London 2016.
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.