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Max Pollak, painter and printmaker, was born in Prague but was raised in Vienna where he later studied painting and etching at the Vienna Academy of Art under Unger and Schmutzer. In 1910 Pollak earned the Prix de Rome for his etchings; a first for an etcher. In 1912 he traveled to France and Holland to study and paint. During the World War I, Pollak was appointed painter of the Austrian Army. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1927, eventually settling in San Francisco.

Pollak's graphic oeuvre is comprised of over 500 prints for which he won numerous awards including the Prix de Rome, the Chicago Society of Etchers award in 1942, and the California Society of Etchers award in 1942, 1944, and 1945. Pollak exhibited at the Golden Gate International Exposition in 1939 and had numerous solo exhibitions, including a 1928 show in New York, a 1940 show at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor and a 1973 exhibition at the Triton Museum in Santa Clara.

He was a member of the Chicago Society of Etchers and the California Society of Etchers and his works is represented in the the Oakand Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Public Library, the National Museum of American Art, the de Young Memorial Museum, the Achenbach Foundation for the Graphic Arts and the British Museum.

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