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New York: The Battery by Max Pollak

New York: The Battery by Max Pollak

Annex Galleries

Color Etching and Aquatint

1927

Edition Size: 1/150

Image Size: 12-3/8 x 16-1/8 inches

Sheet Size: 16-3/4 x 24 inches

Reference: Univ. of California 1949 Exh. Cat., no. 109

Signed

Condition: Excellent

Details — Click to read

Color aquatint and etching, ca. 1927. Max Pollak was commissioned by author Theodore Dreiser to do a series of eight color etchings of New York which were reproduced in Dreiser’s book “My City”, published in 1929. This is one of the etchings that was not used.

Though the edition for the New York images was anticipated as 150 Pollak did not finish the whole edition, the stock market crashed the next year, 1929, when Dreiser’s book was published, and the economic practicality of printing a full edition disappeared.

This view shows the southern tip of Manhattan and the New York Harbor. The low building near the water is the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, which was built between 1902 and 1907 by the federal government to house the duty collection operations for the port of New York. The Battery is named for the artillery batteries that were positioned there in the city’s early history to protect the settlement.

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The Artist

Max Pollak

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.

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