Organic and Inorganic Science
Herman Volz, 1904-1990
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.
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.
This page was created by Lisa Velarde as part of Debbie Faires' Libr 240 class, Information Technology and Tools, School of Library and Information Science, San Jose State University.