August Sander

Blind Children, 1930 (1930)

About this artwork

With his monumental photographic project ‘People of the 20th Century’ August Sander aimed to create a historical document that would illustrate the social structure of early twentieth-century Germany for future generations. The seventh and final group of photographs in the project is titled ‘The Last People’ and depicts figures on the margins of society: the ill, the disabled, the old and the insane. This photograph of two blind children learning to read Braille was taken during a visit to ‘The Institute for the Blind’ in Düren, near Sander’s home town of Cologne. The image is striking for its multiple allusion to vision, visuality and tactility. Within a tightly framed composition, two pairs of blind eyes look sightlessly down on two pairs of feeling hands that are engaged in another form of visuality – a tactile one.

see media
  • title: Blind Children, 1930
  • accession number: AL00135
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: 1930
  • measurements: 20.00 x 25.70 cm (paper 43.90 x 34.10 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.