August Sander

Werkstudenten [Working Students], 1926 (1926)

About this artwork

This photograph is included in the portfolio entitled ‘The Student’ within the group ‘Classes and Professions’ in August Sander’s ‘People of the 20th Century’. In contrast to Sander’s photographs of fraternity students who tended to be conservative, this portrait shows a group of student friends who were left-wing radicals and members of the Communist Party. Sander’s own son Erich is on the far right, next to Richard Creutzberg, Hans Schoemann and Georg Hansen. The four young men strike inhospitable poses, staring intently into the camera in a manner that seems to ask something of the viewer. They had good reason to appear confrontational. In 1934, Erich Sander was imprisoned by the Nazis for his involvement in left-wing politics, dying in prison ten years later. His friends also suffered for their socialist beliefs.

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  • title: Werkstudenten [Working Students], 1926
  • accession number: AL00058
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • subject: Documentary
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: 1926
  • measurements: 19.00 x 25.00 cm (paper 43.90 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: © 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.