Grand Canyon
Jo Mora Pictorial Map, 1931

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Jo Mora Grand Canyon Pictorial Map
detail detail
Jo Mora (1876-1947)
Grand Canyon
Jo Mora Publications, Monterey, California: 1931
Color photo process print on glossy paper
14 x 18 inches, image
15 x 19 inches, overall
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A brightly colored pictorial map of the Grand Canyon featuring a decorative border incorporating Native American motifs and history and pictorial images relating to the Grand Canyon as a tourist attraction. Numerous pictorial illustrations appear showing Mora's humorous, often pun-oriented interpretation of natural formations, such as Painted Desert (two men with literally paint the desert with paint cans and brushes).

A caption under the title reads: "From rim to rim the Grand Canyon varies from 4 to 18 miles. It is more than a mile deep measured from the North Rim which averages nearly 1000 feet higher than the South Rim." Various other jocular captions appear as well. For example, the lower border includes an inset view of the South Rim with a caption that reads: "This remarkable birdseye phoneygraph was taken at great risk from hobbled airplane. Aint it just too natcherel for words?"

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.

This map from the collection of the George Glazer Gallery appears in the book You Are Here by Katharine Harmon, New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2004, pp. 100-101.