San Francisco Chinese Theatre by Max Pollak

San Francisco Chinese Theatre by Max Pollak

San Francisco Chinese Theatre

Max Pollak

Title

San Francisco Chinese Theatre

 
Artist

Max Pollak

  1886 - 1970 (biography)
Year
c. 1940  
Technique
etching and color aquatint 
Image Size
8 7/16 x 6 3/4" platemark 
Signature
pencil, lower right 
Edition Size
1 of 100  
Annotations
pencil titled in lower left corner of the paper; bear stamp "F.P.C." for Friedl Pollak Collection 
Reference
 
Paper
ivory laid Japanese 
State
published 
Publisher
artist 
Inventory ID
PAKU132 
Price
SOLD
Description

Max Pollak, like many other artists in San Francisco, found inspiration in the exotic architectural detail and color of Chinatown. "San Francisco Chinese Theatre" was done using etching for the linear elements and aquatint for the tonal areas. The aquatint plate was printed "a la poupée", a French term for a method of inking a plate with several different colors using small dabbers, a 'dolly' of twisted cloth or felt.

The subject of the composition is the 'Mandarin Theatre', built in 1925 at 1021 Grant Avenue in San Francisco's Chinatown (renamed the 'Sun Sing Theatre' in 1949). It closed as a movie house in 1986, and has since been converted into retail use, called the 'Sun Sing Center.'

Its exterior and interior were used for a sequence in the 1948 Orson Welles film, “The Lady From Shanghai”.