Herman Volz (1904-1990), painter, muralist, lithographer, set designer, decorative artist and ceramist, was born in Zürich, Switzerland. His first training was under the tutelage of his grandfather, a master craftsman in decorative arts. Formal training at the Art und Gewerbescule in Zürich and the Academy of Fine arts in Vienna was followed by four years of travel in Europe and Africa. His paintings from these early years were recognized with numerous awards and honors in Europe.
Immigrating to the U.S. in 1933, he settled in the San Francisco Bay Area and became a citizen in 1938. During the Depression, Volz was appointed to the position of supervisor in the Northern California Art Project and supervisor for the Federal Building mural project at the Golden Gate International Exposition (San Francisco, Treasure Island 1939-1940). Two large mosaic panels, created during the World's Fair, were installed at the San Francisco City College in the 1940s. Volz designed sets for MGM and Paramount Studios. He was politically active, vocal and often made social statements through his imagery.