Pharmacist by August Sander
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- Artwork Info
- About the Artist
- About this Photograph
Gelatin silver print mounted to period paper
Mounted to period board
Blind stamped, lower left corner, au recto
Signed, with print date, in pencil, by Gerd Sander, and editioned and annotated, "ASA # 3/21/", with August Sander
Archive stamp, in ink, au verso
Edition 1 of 12
Printed in 1990
August Sander (1876 –1964) was a German portrait and documentary photographer. Sander’s work includes landscape, nature, architecture, and street photography, but he is best known for his portraits, as exemplified by his series People of the Twentieth Century. In this series, Sanders aims to show a cross-section of society during the Weimar Republic. The series is divided into seven sections: The Farmer, The Skilled Tradesman, Woman, Classes and Professions, The Artists, The City, and The Last People (homeless persons, veterans, etc.).
Sander’s first book Antlitz der Zeit (Face of our Time) was published in 1929. By 1945, Sander’s archive included over 40,000 images. Although the Nazis confiscated the first publication of Sander’s work, and the majority of his negatives were later destroyed by fire, approximately 1,800 portrait negatives for People of the Twentieth Century survived, as well as Sander’s notes and plans. Together with the existing vintage prints, they have provided the basis for the current reconstruction of Sander’s ambitious project in book and exhibition form.
In 2002, the August Sander Archiv’s Susanne Lange and the artist’s grandson, Gerd Sander, published a seven-volume collection comprising some 619 of Sander’s photographs (August Sander: People of the Twentieth Century, Harry N. Abrams).
Adapted from AugustSander.com and metmuseum.org
- August Sander’s long career continued even after his death as his son Gunther, and later his grandson, Gerd, made limited edition prints from the original negatives, in the same darkroom which remained virtually unchanged. Limited in editions of 12, their usage of an edition is somewhat unique.
If the Estate of August Sander received a request for a photograph that wasn’t extant, they would make an edition of 12 gelatin silver prints, with a hand-applied ink margin, blind stamped, authorized on the reverse, and tipped onto museum quality single weight board; a presentation format initiated by August Sander. No more than 12 prints would be made in a calendar year, and no further editions made until that set of 12 sold. This means the most popular images were likely printed 12 times almost each and every year, whereas less popular images would exist in fewer numbers. In terms of the marketplace, the rule of supply vs. demand reigns supreme, so the most popular images (i.e. The Pastry Chef) sell for the most amount of money (in 2017 prices of good quality posthumous approx. 8”x10” prints sell in a range of $10,000 – $15,000 US), whereas obscure images trade for around $2,500 – $3,500 US.