August Sander

Disabled Waggoner, 1930 (1930)

About this artwork

For several decades August Sander photographed individuals and groups in his native Germany, classifying them according to their social standing and professions. His ambitious attempt to chronicle the social structures of his time resulted in the monumental documentary project ‘People of the 20th Century’. This portrait of a disabled waggoner is from the group ‘The City’ and its portfolio ‘People Who Came to My Door’, which depicts peddlers, beggars and other people from the lower classes of society who lived in precarious financial conditions. The photograph was taken in Sander’s studio in the Cologne district of Lindenthal. Although its title makes clear reference to its subject’s disability, what brought the waggoner to Sander’s door is not directly identified, leaving us to speculate. It is an example of Sander’s social realist style of image-making, premised on the idea of using photography as a means of drawing attention to social grievances and inequalities.

see media
  • title: Disabled Waggoner, 1930
  • accession number: AL00157
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: 1930
  • measurements: 25.80 x 16.20 cm (paper 43.80 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.