August Sander

Member of Parliament - Democrat, 1927 (1927)

About this artwork

August Sander’s monumental photographic project ‘People of the 20th Century’ was conceived as a typology of the German people classified according to their estates, professions and living environments. Taken in Cologne, ‘Member of Parliament (Democrat)’ is the first photograph in the portfolio entitled ‘The Politician’. The member of parliament is shown in a spotless suit, a caped overcoat and black hat, appearing to lean against the white wall behind him. Rather than pointing it at the ground, he holds his umbrella with its tip pointing straight up against his body as he might shoulder a rifle, suggesting that he is ready for battle in the struggle for political power. The portfolio from which the photograph is taken portrays a range of politicians, but notably excludes National Socialists (they are instead included in the sub-portfolio National Socialists within the larger portfolio ‘The Soldier’, all photographed after the party’s rise to power in the early 1930s).

see media
  • title: Member of Parliament - Democrat, 1927
  • accession number: AL00080
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: 1927
  • measurements: 25.90 x 17.30 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.