Josef Herman was born in Poland in 1911. He attended the Warsaw School of Art between 1930 and 1932, but the outbreak of the Second World War meant that he had to leave his homeland for Belgium, eventually making it to the UK and settling in Glasgow in 1940. After visiting Ystradgynlais in the Swansea Valley in 1944 he ended up staying, and his source of inspiration became the Welsh mining community – imagery he has become so well known for. Awarded an OBE for services to British Art in 1981, Josef also has an Art Foundation set up in his name. He died in February 2000.