Industrial Accident

Herman Volz

Herman Roderick Volz (1904-1990), 'Industrial Accident', lithograph, 1942, edition 20. Signed, titled, and numbered '16/20' in pencil. Signed in the stone, lower left. A fine, richly-inked impression, on cream, wove paper, with full margins (1 1/8 to 1 3/4 inches), in excellent condition.

Reproduced and exhibited: 'L’Amérique de la Dépression: Artistes Engagés des Années 30', Musée-Gallerie de la Seita, Paris, 1996.

Impressions of "Industrial Accident' are in the collections of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Volz’s other graphic works are held in the collections of Detroit Institute of Arts, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Wisconsin Art.

Herman Roderick Volz (1904–1990) was a Swiss-American painter, muralist, lithographer, set designer, and mosaic/ceramic artist. He was a politically active champion of the working man and often used his strikingly modernist graphic works as vehicles to address issues of inequality and social injustice.

Following his studies in Switzerland and Vienna, he traveled for four years in France, Spain, Italy, Africa, and Holland and then moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1933, becoming a US citizen in 1938.

During the Great Depression, Volz was a supervisor in the Northern California Art Project and for the Federal Building mural project at the Golden Gate International Exposition 'Art in Action' exhibit from 1939-40. Directing a group of artists, he produced two monumental murals (the world’s largest at the time) on the facade of San Francisco’s Federal Building titled ‘The Conquest of the West’. In 1940-42 with another team of workers, he created two large, low-relief polished marble mosaic panels for the Golden Gate International Exhibition ‘Art in Action’ World's Fair, which were later installed at San Francisco City College.

17 3/16 x 12 1/4 inches