Photography: August Sander and His Catalog of the German People

Recently, Dr. Fiancee and I enjoyed a photo exhibit at the Getty Center.  It consisted of work by German photographer August Sander who shot a collection of portraits representative of German society in the early 20th Century .  It was fittingly titled People of the Twentieth Century.

Sander categorized his subjects by profession or social class, so his work as a whole is almost like a catalog of the German people of his time.  But do not be misled: he was not a propagandist for the Nazi Party.  In fact, some of his photos were destroyed by the Nazis, since for some reason or other they were perceived as inconsistent with National Socialist principles.

At any rate, the portraits we saw at the Getty made for terrific – if vicarious – people-watching, which is a pastime of sorts in L.A.  Each photo is haunting and compelling in its own way.  I really recommend Sander’s work if you like portraiture or photography in general.

I have a strict policy of not posting copyrighted works here; and I don’t have time to check if Sander’s work is public domain.  So no photos here, but there is a Sander collection online and there is always Google.