JO MORA

history-jo-mora-sculptor

Joseph Jacinto Mora (1876 – 1947) was a Uruguayan-born American sculptor, muralist, illustrator, and mapmaker. He is the son of sculptor Domingo Mora, who was known for his work on the Metropolitan Opera house in New York and the Palace Theater in Los Angeles. Mora spent the early part of his career living with the Hopi and Navajo tribes in Arizona, learning their native language and customs and recording the details of their lives in drawings and photographs. He returned to California in 1907 and continued to work as an illustrator, sculptor, and cartoonist.

In 1917, he designed the facade of the Million Dollar Theatre. The ornate sculpture is done in a Churrigueresque style and features numerous statues, longhorn skulls, and other unique elements. Not long after, he moved to Carmel by the Sea and began work on what many consider his greatest masterpiece – the bronze and travertine memorial in the Memorial Chapel in El Camelo Mission. He passed away in 1947, but his last book, Californios, which he dedicated to the lives of the rancheros in California, was published posthumously and received much acclaim.

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