California Pictorial Map
by Jo Mora

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Jo Mora Map of California:  "I love you, California." detail
detail detail: cartouche
Jo Mora (1876-1947)
Jo Mora Publications, Monterey, California: 1945
Color photo process print
24.25 x 18.25 inches, image
25 x 19 inches, overall
Provenance: Estate of Jo Mora, thence to the prior owner
Sold, please inquire as to the availability of similar items.

Pictorial map of California, richly illustrated by Jo Mora. Numerous pictorial illustrations appear showing locations of towns, natural formations, tourist attractions, local culture, products and animals. Boats and fishermen shown in the Pacific Ocean. Examples of Mora's pun-oriented humor include Death Valley illustrated with a skeletal grim reaper, and Hollywood illustrated with a cameraman filming two actors. Inset group of views of old Franciscan Missions on the Camino Real. To the right of the map appear two sets of images: "Ingredients in the California Melting Pot" (explorers, immigrants, etc.) and "California Transportation Throughout the Ages," from Early Spanish Caravels to ships, cars, airplanes and buses. A brief history of California is printed in the top border.

The cartouche contains the following dedication: "'lt's now far past forty years since first I sifted into this glorious El Dorado of the West, forking the hurricane deck of a sorrel pony. I had come a long trail and here was the promised land! It's been my home range ever since. I've known here plenty grass-- I've known it mighty short. That's life. My wife and kids are native son and daughters and I feel I may sing in all truth and sincerity 'I love you, California.' ... Well, I'm strong for those souls who smile at their devotions: So, you see, I've tried to make this in a manner to help you keep the corners of your mouth on the up and up during the perusal of my California.' A Devoted Adopted Son --Jo Mora."

Joseph "Jo" Mora is one of the foremost pictorial mapmakers of the 20th century. Born in Uruguay, he spent his career in the United States. Like many pictorial mapmakers, Mora had wide-ranging interests and talents -- as an artist who worked in many media, a historian and an author. In 1904, he lived with the Hopi and Navajo Indians in Kearns Canyon, Arizona. He learned their languages and documented the Kachina ceremony and other ethnological information in photographs and paintings. From 1900 to 1949, Mora illustrated several books for children as well as books on California history. His pictorial maps were mainly of California and include maps of the state, Los Angeles, Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, 17 Mile Drive (Pebble Beach), Monterey and Carmel by the Sea. They are very popular with collectors today.