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Bailiff, about 1930
© Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur - August Sander Archiv, Köln/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn and DACS, London 2015

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Bailiff, about 1930 about 1930

Not on display

  • Artist Rooms
August Sander took this photograph for a portfolio that he humorously titled ‘People Who Came to My Door’, from the group ‘The City’. The portfolio derives from Sander’s monumental photographic project ‘People of the 20th Century’, with which he aimed to document the social structures and professional classes of his time. Side-by-side with portraits of vendors and beggars also included in ‘People Who Came to My Door’, this picture of a bailiff provides an ironic commentary on Sander’s own precarious financial situation as a professional photographer and artist in the 1920s and 1930s. In a note written to accompany the image, held at the August Sander Archive in Cologne, Sander explains that he requested permission to photograph him after the bailiff had fixed a seal to his door. The man’s wide-legged stance and self-satisfied half-smile exude confidence and assertion, suggesting that the bailiff takes pleasure in his profession.


  • Acc. No. AL00108
  • Medium Black and white photograph on paper
  • Size 25.80 x 14.70 cm (paper 44.00 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