MoMA Acquires Complete Set of August Sander’s Landmark Achievement “People of the Twentieth Century”

Art Announcement from Australia. Published by MOMA on Thursday 04 June 2015.

MoMA Acquires Complete Set of August Sander’s Landmark Achievement “People of the Twentieth Century” image

The Museum of Modern Art announces the acquisition of a complete set of August Sander’s People of the Twentieth Century (1892–1954), the artist’s comprehensive visual examination of German society that remains among the most ambitious undertakings in the history of photography.

Produced over a 60-year period, the 619 photographs are widely celebrated for embracing photography’s unique ability to capture detail, and its potential to evoke meaning through straightforward description. MoMA acquired the set through the generosity of the Sander family, and is the only museum to hold the body of work in its entirety.

“In the history of photography there are few works that rival August Sander’s People of the Twentieth Century in scope or influence,” said Quentin Bajac, The Joel and Anne Ehrenkranz Chief Curator of Photography at MoMA. “It is exhilarating to bring it into the collection to contextualize not only Eugéne Atget and Walker Evans, but also the Bechers, Diane Arbus, Judith Joy Ross, Rineke Dijkstra, and many others who cite his achievement as essential to the development of their own.”