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.