Detroit: From the Canadian Side by Max Pollak

Detroit: From the Canadian Side by Max Pollak

Detroit: From the Canadian Side

Max Pollak

Title

Detroit: From the Canadian Side

 
Artist

Max Pollak

  1886 - 1970 (biography)
Year
around 1930 
Technique
color aquatint with etching 
Image Size
12-9/16 x x 15-1/2" platemark 
Signature
pencil, lower right 
Edition Size
25/100 (likely printed fewer) 
Annotations
pencil titled and editioned; annotated "edition printed a. 8" along bottom sheet edge; red "FPC" Friedl Pollak Collection stamp in lower left sheet corner 
Reference
 
Paper
ivory simili-vellum 
State
published proof 
Publisher
artist 
Inventory ID
22710 
Price
$800.00 
Description

This view of Detroit, Michigan is from Canada, looking from Windsor, Ontario, Canada across the Detroit River, which flows between Lake St. Clair to Lake Erie. Pollak views the skyline around 1930, glowing beneath a clouded or polluted sky of the industrial center, perhaps a portent of the Great Depression that was beginning for the U.S.

In the foreground, across the river, are ships and passenger steamboats docked in the harbor in Detroit. Pollak loosely "suggests" the buildings, using a few lines and color to differentiate them. The forty-seven story Penobscot Building rises above the other skyscrapers. It was built in 1905 and remains a premier location for commercial offices in downtown Detroit.

By 1930 it was America's fourth largest city and, by 1931 was the hardest hit major city at the beginning of the Great Depression as automobile production had dramatically fallen and unemployment was rampant.

Like many artists of the 1930s Pollak anticipates an editon of 100, numbering this impression "25/100", but in the margin he notes an actual edition of 8. Some printmakers would select numbers throughout the edition to give the impression that the image was popular and selling well.