Max Pollak was apainter and printmaker born in Prague, Czechoslovakia. At age sixteen, he entered the Vienna Academy of Art. There, he studied painting and printmaking. During the First World War, he was appointed official painter of the Austrian Army and documented the stark landscapes of the places where his battalion was stationed. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1927, arriving in New York and living for a time on the East Coast. His first exhibition at the 57th Street Art Gallery in New York was a commercial success and he was commissioned by Theodore Dreiser in 1929 to illustrate his book, My City, reproducing eight of Pollak's color aquatints of Manhattan. In 1938, Pollak moved to San Francisco. Pollak was inspired by his new city and its environs and produced views of San Francisco neighborhoods, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Sausalito. Later travels included frequent trips to Mexico and Guatemala in the 1930s, '40s, and '50s. Pollak was equally facile working in drypoint, aquatint, and soft ground etching.