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Working Class Mother, 1927
© Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur - August Sander Archiv, Köln/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn and DACS, London 2015

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Working Class Mother, 1927 1927

Not on display

  • Artist Rooms
The composition of ‘Working-class Mother’ echoes the religious iconography of the Madonna and child. The portrait comes from the portfolio ‘The Worker – His Life and Work’ in August Sander’s ambitious photographic project ‘People of the 20th Century’. Sander conceived the project, to construct a typology of the German people organised by estate, profession and living environment in the 1920s, dividing the project into seven groups and over 45 portfolios following these categories. Standing in a doorway, her silhouette emphasised by the dark interior behind her and the door’s wooden frame, the working-class mother is dressed in her everyday clothes. She holds up her baby, displaying its chubby bare legs to the photographer with a friendly smile. Sander highlights the class of his subject through the title and the setting, which is in stark contrast to more middle-class portraits such as ‘Mother and Daughter’ (around 1926), included in the group ‘The Woman’.


  • Acc. No. AL00036
  • Medium Black and white photograph on paper
  • Size 25.80 x 18.80 cm (paper 43.90 x 34.00 cm; mount: 46.00 x 36.00 cm) (framed: 48.20 x 38.20 x 3.20 cm)
  • Credit ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Lent by Anthony d'Offay 2010