August Sander

Circus People, 1926-32 (1926 - 1932)

About this artwork

One of the social types represented in August Sander’s photographic studies of city life is loosely identified as ‘travelling people’, and their portraits are classified in a portfolio of this name within his monumental documentary project ‘People of the 20th Century’. The photographs of travelling people are further divided into sub-groups entitled ‘Fair and Circus’ people and ‘Gypsies and Transients’. This photograph is classified within the former portfolio from the group, ‘The City’. It shows performers from the famous Barum Circus, which principally toured in East Prussia, and eastern and northern Germany. Between 1926 and 1929 the circus visited the Rhineland cities of Dortmund, Remscheid and Cologne. Although Sander dated it slightly later, this photograph is thought to have been taken during one of these visits and shows a group of female performers and a boy assembled during an informal moment of their day.

see media
  • title: Circus People, 1926-32
  • accession number: AL00098
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: 1926 - 1932
  • measurements: 25.80 x 18.60 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.