August Sander

Street Musicians in Cologne, 1928 (1928)

About this artwork

August Sander’s photographs of city life today provide invaluable documents of the rapid process of urbanization that Germany underwent in the early twentieth century, revealing aspects of everyday life, as well as significant social and political events. They also aimed to show representatives of certain city ‘types’. This picture is one of a series of photographs that Sander took of street musicians. It is from the portfolio entitled ‘The Street and Street Life’, within the sixth group, ‘The City’, in Sander’s monumental project ‘People of the 20th Century’. The slogan written on the drum in the bottom centre of the photograph – ‘Kölsche Lotterboove’ – is Cologne dialect which translates as ‘Cologne Rogue’. It is a name that is still today used by many musical carnival groups in Cologne.

see media
  • title: Street Musicians in Cologne, 1928
  • accession number: AL00096
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: 1928
  • measurements: 19.10 x 25.80 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.