Fine example of Jo Mora's Carte of Catalina Island, Mora's great unfinished map.
The artwork (almost certainly incomplete) for this carte was discovered several years ago in one of Jo Mora, Jr.'s storage room. Upon his death in 2006, it became part of the Jo Mora Trust Collection.
The Mora Trust recently commissioned a First Printing, limited to 40 numbered copies. Unsigned and undated, this carte captures the charm of early Santa Catalina Island and romantic Avalon.
In the upper right corner, Jo Sr. proclaims in a scroll, "I dedicate this carte - humorous in its rendering, serious in its intent - to the memory of William Wrigley, Jr., whose appreciation of the beautiful and means to carry out a dream has made Santa Catalina the island gem of the Pacific it is today".
Joseph Jacinto "Jo" Mora, born 22 October 1876 in Uruguay, died 10 October 1947 in Monterey California. Mora came to the United States as a child, he studied art in New York, then worked for Boston newspapers as a cartoonist. He was a man of many other talents, artist-historian, sculptor, painter, photographer, illustrator, muralist and author. In 1903, Mora came to California, then in 1904 he moved to Keams Canyon in northeast Arizona, living with the Hopi and Navajo Indians. He learned their languages and photographed and painted an ethnological record, particularly of the Kachina ceremonial dances. In 1907, he married Grace Needham and they moved to Mountain View, California. He moved to Pebble Beach in 1922 and established a home and large studio there, it being near the Carmel Mission (San Carlos Borroméo De Carmelo Mission) after being commissioned to do the Serra Sarcophagus* for Padre (Father) Ramon Mestres.
During his long and productive career, Mora illustrated a number of books including Animals of Aesop (1900), Dawn and the Dons - The Romance of Monterey (1926), Benito and Loreta Delfin, Children of Alta California (1932), and Fifty Funny Animal Tales (1932). He authored three books, A Log of the Spanish Main (1933), Trail Dust and Saddle Leather (1946) and his posthumous publication, Californios (1949).
His map work included Monterey Peninsula (1927), and Seventeen Mile Drive (1927), California (1927), San Diego (1928), Grand Canyon (1931), Yosemite (1931), Yellowstone (1936), Carmel-By-The-Sea (1942), California (1945) (large and small versions), and Map of Los Angeles (1942).