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August Sander: People of the Twentieth Century

A collective portrait of the German people during the first half of the twentieth century will be on view in August Sander: People of the Twentieth Century, at the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Center, May 6—September 14, 2008. A pioneering photographer, August Sander (German, 1876-1964), worked throughout his life to create an "atlas" of his fellow citizens, arranging his portraits in groupings according to their classes and professions, as well as their association with the country or the city.

Sander's project remained unfinished, despite his dedication to it over five decades. Organized into seven groupings (farmers, skilled tradesmen, women, classes and professions, artists, the city, and the so-called "last people" or the disabled and disenfranchised) and 45 portfolios, about 700 photographs have been identified as belonging to this "cultural work in photographic pictures."


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