"IT WOULD BE DIFFICULT TO
OVERESTIMATE THE INFLUENCE"
Antlitz der Zeit: 60 Fotos Deutscher Menschen [Face of Our Time]
"One of the great documentary works of all
times... it would be difficult to overestimate the influence of this
work on later photography, documentary, and otherwise." -Roth, 101 Books
FIRST EDITION of Sander’s classic, one of the most influential
photobooks of the early twentieth-century.
August Sander “was part of a coterie of photographers who established
the photographic book as an aesthetically and commercially viable art
form in the 1920s. Though Sander had published one such book in 1924,
Unsere Heimat, Hannover, it was the 1929 publication of
Antlitz der Zeit (The Face of Our Time) that propelled him
into enduring fame” (Warren, Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century
“Many of his classic images are included in this seminal photobook, and
the essential qualities of Sander’s vision can be seen. He took typical
examples of professions, trades and social classes in Weimar Germany,
and photographed them in their familiar environments in order to build
up, piece by piece, a dispassionate image of the ‘face’ of society… One
of his work’s miracles is how, despite his nominal objectivity, his
political view shines through… His work is not neutral. It is not just
penetrating, but was seen as positively dangerous, a little too acute in
its analysis of society and class, by those with certain vested
interests. This is made clear by the fact that when the Nazis came to
power in Germany in 1933, publisher’s copies of Antlitz der Zeit
were seized, the plates destroyed, and the negatives confiscated by
Hitler’s Ministry of Culture” (The Photobook, I.124). Roth 52.
Munich: Transmare Verlag/Kurt Wolff Verlag, (1929). Quarto, original
yellow cloth. A hint of soiling to cloth; repaired closed tear to margin
of plate 44 (approx. 1.5 inch long) . Without scarce dust jacket and
slipcase (as usual). A lovely copy. $5600.