MAX POLLAK (1886-1970), born in Czechoslovakia, studied painting and etching at the Vienna Academy of Art under Ferdinand Schmutzer. By the 1910s, he was already gaining a reputation by creating portraits of European luminaries, including Sigmund Freud. While in Vienna, he witnessed the exodus of Jews from pogroms in Russia and Bohemia, as shown in his 1914 series of etchings Im Barachenslager.
Etching was Pollak's favored medium; his technique included applying color directly to the plate 'a la poupee' before pressing results in unique impressions.
Pollak spent three years in Paris before coming to New York in 1927. After traveling extensively, as can be seen in his images of Central America, Austria, Paris, New York, San Francisco, Texas, Mexico and Guatemala, he eventually settled in San Francisco, California.
Etching and drypoint, brown ink c.1914
16 1/4 x 6 3/4 inches (41.3 x 17.1cm)