This photograph is the final plate in "Antlitz der Zeit" ("Face of the Time"), Sander's typological study of German citizens. A poignant image of disempowerment, the picture reveals Sander's prescient understanding of the social and economic forces at work in the Weimar Republic. Taking Sander's sympathetic portrayal of Germans of all occupations and ethnicities as a serious threat, the Fascists destroyed the printing blocks and most copies of this book in 1934. This print of the whole negative, showing both the "last" man and his desolate corner, is the only one known to survive.
Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings
Inscription: Signed on mat, recto, bottom right, below image: "Aug. Sander // Koln 1928"; inscribed in pencil on mount, verso, top left: "1.80.650"; inscribed in pencil on mat, verso, bottom left: "RMG#984.8"
Gerd Sander, New York; [Robert Miller Gallery, New York (1983)]; [Simon Lowinsky & Nancy Medwell]; Private Collection; [Simon Lowinsky Gallery, New York]
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Faces and Figures: German and Austrian Portraits 1918-1933," December 15, 1992–April 12, 1993.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Faces and Figures: German and Austrian Artists, 1918-1933," December 15, 1992–April 12, 1993.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 6," August 29, 1994–December 12, 1994.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 7," December 12, 1994–March 12, 1995.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "People of the 20th Century. August Sander's Photographic Portrait of Germany," May 25, 2004–September 19, 2004.
National Gallery of Canada. ""The New Man": Portrait of the 1930s," June 5, 2008–September 7, 2008.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Street," March 5, 2013–May 27, 2013.
No other vintage print from this negative is known. Variant images of the same subject are held by MOMA and the Getty Museum.