August Sander

Grammar School Boy, 1926 (High School Student) (1926)

About this artwork

From the mid-1920s until the end of his life August Sander worked on his monumental photographic project ‘People of the 20th Century’ with which he aimed to chronicle the social structures and professional classes of his native Germany. The rapid modernisation of the time had caused the emergence of a new youth culture, giving rise to previously unknown social ‘types’. This included the politicisation of young people, as well as their increasing fashion consciousness, as illustrated here. This portrait is from the portfolio entitled ‘Youth Movements’ within the project’s sixth group, ‘The City.’ The young man’s smart patterned suit with a matching waistcoat and tie, his slicked back hair and casually held cigarette all speak of a new level of self-confidence and autonomy, which is confirmed by his direct and enigmatic look at the camera.

see media
  • title: Grammar School Boy, 1926 (High School Student)
  • accession number: AL00128
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: 1926
  • measurements: 25.60 x 13.90 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.