August Sander

Foreign Workers, 1941-5 (1941 - 1945)

About this artwork

August Sander’s monumental documentary project ‘People of the 20th Century’ has been described as a work of cultural and social history executed in the medium of photography. It comprises over 500 photographs classified into seven groups, further subdivided into more than 45 portfolios representing the social classes and professional divisions of the time. This is a photograph from the group ‘The City’ and its portfolio entitled ‘Foreign Workers’, which Sander produced during 1941–5 in Kuchhausen in the Westerwald, where he and his wife settled after leaving Cologne. The people depicted in the portfolio are mainly agricultural labourers from the Ukraine, who had been allocated to the local farms because of the national labour shortage. Most of them left the region at the end of the war.

see media
  • title: Foreign Workers, 1941-5
  • accession number: AL00115
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: 1941 - 1945
  • measurements: 19.30 x 24.00 cm (paper 43.90 x 34.00 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.