Catalog Archive
Auction 152, Lot 189

Reduced Version of Jo Mora's Splashy Map of the Grand Canyon

"Grand Canyon", Mora, Joseph Jacinto

Subject: Grand Canyon, Arizona

Period: 1959 (published)


Color: Printed Color

18.1 x 14.1 inches
46 x 35.8 cm
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This is the reduced and colored version of Jo Mora's splashy map of the Grand Canyon originally printed in 1931. Mora (1876-1947) was an Uruguayan-American artist and cowboy with a deep fascination with the American West and an inimitable style. He is perhaps best known for his "cartes," cartoonish yet precise maps of locations out west that are packed with humor and detail. Mora's dedication on this map is indicative of his blend of irreverence and serious passion for the particulars of the land: "Dedicated to those unfortunate souls who through ignorance, apathy, or misfortune, have never seen the abysmal silent climax this carte humorously depicts." The "abysmal silent climax" is shown in bird's-eye view with numerous landmarks noted, among them several formations or "temples" illustrated with various religious and mythological figures (such as Vishnu, Buddha, Thor, and Solomon). Across the top of the sheet are the title and several panels depicting the Union Pacific Grand Canyon Lodge, an elderly couple unimpressed with the "teeney weeney" Colorado River they spot from the rim of the canyon, members of the Hopi and Navajo tribes (Mora lived with these tribes for a couple of years), and more. The hustle and bustle of the southern rim of the canyon is rendered in an inset at bottom left, with special attention paid to tourist attractions. Additional panels appear in the bottom right corner, including one that connects Hopi myth to the Phantom Ranch. An endlessly fun and fascinating map.


Condition: A

Near fine with just a couple insignificant abrasions.

Estimate: $200 - $250

Sold for: $350

Closed on 2/18/2015