The Jo Mora archive was sold in January, 2022 to the Monterey History and Art Association as an addition to the MHAA Mora Collection. The Association will oversee its future projects and commerce. Peter Hiller will continue to work with the collection and respond to inquiries.
The Jo Mora Collection endeavors to honor the memory and integrity of Joseph Jacinto Mora and his artistic accomplishments, in the spirit and style of his son, Jo N. Mora, Jr. The curator will strive to preserve, protect and grow the collection, and to enlighten and educate the public about Jo Mora as the Monterey History and Art Association makes Mora’s work available for exhibition and sale.
In addition, this website strives to provide an opportunity for interested parties and collectors to communicate with each other about Jo Mora. If you are interested in listing a website or address, please contact the collection curator.
Few artistic legacies are more interesting than that of Joseph Jacinto Mora (1876−1947). Mora’s artistic gifts range over a wide variety of mediums, including drawing, painting, illustration, cartooning, sculpture, photography, map-making, and writing, their diversity being an amazing accomplishment for one person. Mora was born in Uruguay on October 22, 1876, moved to the eastern United States when he was a young child, and then, after attending art school and working as an illustrator and cartoonist in the Boston area, spent the rest of his adult life living and working in the western United States, with the last 27 years in Carmel and Pebble Beach, California.
In 1920, Mora moved to Carmel from the San Francisco Bay Area to work on what was to become his masterpiece – the Father Serra Cenotaph, in the Jo Mora Memorial Chapel at the Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Río Carmelo. Carmel Mission priest Ramon Mestres commissioned Mora to create the bronze and travertine memorial, along with the cross and altar, that were dedicated on October 12, 1924.
Mora is probably best known publicly for the series of maps – or cartes, as he referred to them – that he created. These historically accurate, humorous, and collectable prints have entertained viewers for years. His homage to Carmel, the Carmel-By-The-Sea carte, was printed in 1942 and highlights much of the colorful history of the town.
An extensive collection of Jo Mora’s art and papers now resides within the holdings of the Monterey History and Art Association. Excellent examples of this collection can be viewed at the MHAA’s historic adobe Casa Serrano in Monterey, California.