Catalog Archive
Auction 152, Lot 725

Jo Mora's Decorative Rodeo Poster

"[Evolution of the Cowboy]", Mora, Joseph Jacinto

Subject: Prints Cowboys

Period: 1939 (circa)


Color: Printed Color

23 x 30.6 inches
58.4 x 77.7 cm
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This is the second issue of Jo Mora's iconic poster, dated 1933 but published circa 1939, with the map of Salinas around the Sweetheart of the Rodeo replaced with silhouettes of cowboys and their horses. One of Mora's most enduring creations, this sheet was originally used as a promotional item for the Salinas Rodeo. Later on, the American band the Byrds used the image of the Sweetheart of the Rodeo on their pioneering country-rock album of the same name, released in 1968. The poster is a veritable illustrated encyclopedia entry on the cowboy, filled with information on the various types of cowboys, their fashions, their saddles, their horses, and their relationship to the cattle. A hectic and exaggerated rodeo scene appears in the center, with more realistic illustrations directly below depicting different rodeo activities in close-up detail. Across the top of the sheet and along the sides is a medley of cowboy types throughout history, from the Spanish conquistador of the 16th century to the modern vaqueros and cowboys.

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.


Condition: B+

There is a small stain at bottom left that just enters the image, a crease in the top left corner, slight wear along the sheet's edges, and light toning.

Estimate: $1,400 - $1,700

Sold for: $1,000

Closed on 2/18/2015