August Sander

Fraternity Students, 1921 (1921)

About this artwork

This photograph is included in the portfolio ‘The Student’ within the group ‘Classes and Professions’ in August Sander’s ambitious photographic project ‘People of the 20th Century’. Sander intended the project to present a broad typology of the German people classified according to their estates, professions and living environments. In this photograph a central figure wears traditional fraternity clothing, while his fellow students are arranged around him in formal attire. The costume is distinguished by its decorative fabrics, ornate clasps and white cuff adorning a dark dress coat, white trousers, long boots, a sword and a cap decorated with oak leaves and fur. The dark background and clothing of the group throw the subjects’ pale faces and hands into heightened relief, emphasising their individuality.

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  • title: Fraternity Students, 1921
  • accession number: AL00057
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: 1921
  • measurements: 19.50 x 26.00 cm (paper 43.90 x 33.90 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.