The Book Club of California is pleased to announce the publication of the first definitive biography of the artist Jo Mora (1876-1947), a gifted illustrator, painter, writer, cartographer, and sculptor of the American West. Written by Mora scholar Peter H. Hiller, the book interweaves fascinating biographical material with Mora’s personal letters, journal entries and other writings -- many never before seen by the public -- to provide an intimate portrait of an important yet often overlooked artist.
Hiller traces Mora’s unconventional life as he leaves the comfort of his East Coast home to explore the West on horseback, live among the Hopi, marry and settle in the Monterey Peninsula, and go on to become one of the most inventive and versatile artists of his era. At every turn, Hiller’s detailed narrative reveals the interdependence of life and art that characterized Mora’s experience, and manifested itself in artistic originality, historical accuracy, and humor. Fully embracing the rugged individualism we associate with the American West, Mora was one of the first American artists to elevate the cultural importance of the Western frontier, presaging broad shifts in twentieth-century thought and expression. Through his celebration of the great glories of nature and of the human heart, he reminds us that the subject matter of all art is life.
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Expected publication date: February 2019