Mother and Son [Lou Straus-Ernst and her son Jimmy], 1928
© Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur - August Sander Archiv, Köln/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn and DACS, London 2015

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Mother and Son [Lou Straus-Ernst and her son Jimmy], 1928 1928
  • Artist Rooms
Though this photograph shares its title with another image in the portfolio entitled ‘Woman and Child’, within the group ‘The Woman’ in August Sander’s documentary project ‘People of the 20th Century’, its subjects could not be more different. In 1917, Lou [Luise] Straus-Ernst was the first woman to earn a PhD in art history from the University of Bonn. She was married to the artist Max Ernst and helped found the Cologne Dada movement in 1919. Dressed in light summer clothes, she and her son Jimmy share a distinct family resemblance in their facial features and serious expressions. Their intimacy is indicated in their pose – her left arm around his shoulder and their right hands clasped together on her lap. Lou fled to France to escape the National Socialists, but was arrested in June 1944 and deported to Auschwitz where she died.


  • Acc. No. AL00047
  • Medium Black and white photograph on paper
  • Size 25.70 x 20.10 cm (paper 44.40 x 33.80 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