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In Focus: August Sander: Photographs from the J. Paul Getty Museum Paperback – December 28, 2000
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Sander (1876-1964) is one of the gods of photography, a good independent photographer who late in his career conceived a 500-photograph gallery of "Citizens of the Twentieth Century" within the western German society centered in Cologne. He portrayed his subjects at bust or greater length, always looking into the lens, attired in their normal clothes (one exception: the famous picture of three young farmers in their Sunday best), and with only things they usually used as props. His sympathy for them appears complete. There is no condescension in his portraits of laborers and traveling circus performers, no bathos in those of dwarves and blind young girls, and no satire in images of an SS officer and ordinary Nazis. He never completed his great work: the Nazis didn't like it. Besides comments about each reproduction, the book has a biographical introduction and a colloquy on Sander among eight photographic historians, editors, and curators. Ray Olson
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