Catalog Archive
Auction 153, Lot 247

"Yosemite", Mora, Joseph Jacinto

Subject: Yosemite, California

Period: 1931 (dated)


Color: Printed Color

13.9 x 17.9 inches
35.3 x 45.5 cm
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This is the second color edition of Jo Mora's delightful "carte" of Yosemite, published in 1949, with Coulterville Road replaced by two men panicking over a skunk. 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. Dedicated to Mora's friend Stephen Mather, the industrialist and conservationist who became the first director of the National Park Service (an organization he rallied to create), the map depicts the majestic sweep of Yosemite National Park and is filled with light-hearted illustrations and visual puns. Perhaps the note beneath the title best sums up Mora's project: "There is so much of Grandeur and reverential Solemnity to Yosemite that a bit of humor may help the better to happily reconcile ourselves to the triviality of Man. Give me the souls who smile at their devotions! Now, should this light effort-- not altogether truthful, so not altogether dull-- afford you a tithe of mirth, I shall feel I have added to your reverence for Yosemite." Among the puns are a king atop Royal Arches, a picnic basket on Basket Dome, and a man relaxing in a chair, engulfed by a cloud on Cloud's Rest. The title is done in a style that emulates the Native American art for which Mora had such an appreciation. Several panels run down the left side of the map showing various activities available to tourists at the park, including an image of "That First View" (a family standing with their mouths agape) and a large vignette focused on winter sports.


Condition: B

Bold color with a few minor creases. There are several archivally repaired small chips and edge tears, one of which enters 1" into the image at bottom. There is light toning that becomes more pronounced in the bottom 3" of the sheet, making the bottom edge of the sheet somewhat brittle.

Estimate: $400 - $500

Sold for: $300

Closed on 5/20/2015