August Sander: People of the 20th Century
With People of the 20th Century, August Sander created a monumental work that is unique in the history of photography and a classic of photographic literature. Sander conceived this large-scale project, which he ultimately never completed, in the 1920s. He was to spend the rest of his life working on it, his objective nothing less than a complete typological portrait of contemporary society. Hundreds of portraits classified according to professional, social or family criteria were to provide a representative picture of the various social groups. He envisaged seven groups labeled: “The Farmer”, “The Skilled Tradesman”, “The Woman”, “Classes and Professions”, “The Artists”, “The City” and–on the theme of age, illness and death–“The Last People”.
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