City College of San Francisco Art Guide

Mosaics

Detail of Volz Mosaic

Organic and Inorganic Science

Herman Volz, 1904-1990
1940-1942, marble mosaic
42' x 55'
North portico, Science Hall

Two polished marble mosaics by the Swiss-born artist Herman Volz represent fields such as physics, chemistry, biology, and mathematics in tiny tiles. The quote in this detail photo reads "Give me a base and I move the world."

Completed on site, the mosaics took two years to install with a staff of eight workmen. Each tile is of varying thickness, resulting in shadows that emphasize their shape. Each marble tile was carefully polished, cemented onto the fašade of the building, and then polished again. Begun during "Art in Action" at the GGIE, they were restored in 2005.

Detail of Volz Mosaic

Volz was educated in Europe and came to the US in 1933, where he became well-known as a painter, lithographer, and mosaic/ceramic artist for the WPA. He exhibited at San Francisco's Museum of the Legion of Honor from 1937-1941 and won the San Francisco Art Association prize in 1937.

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