August Sander

Midgets, 1906-14 (1906 - 1914)

About this artwork

This photograph of two midgets dated 1913 (or in some accounts 1906–14) is one of the earliest images included in August Sander’s monumental documentary project ‘People of the 20th Century’. Sander began working on his project in the mid-1920s, with the intention to document and illustrate the social structures and developments of his time. The project’s more than 500 photographs are divided into seven groups, representing contemporary social and professional classes: 'The Farmer', 'The Skilled Tradesman', ‘The Woman’, ‘Classes and Professions’, ‘The Artists’, ‘The City’ and ‘The Last People’. Sander created the seventh group, in which 'Midgets' is included, around 1946. ‘The Last People’ gave visibility to those figures in modern society that were confined to its margins: the ill, the disabled, the old and the insane.

see media
  • title: Midgets, 1906-14
  • accession number: AL00137
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: 1906 - 1914
  • measurements: 19.00 x 21.10 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.