Peter Hiller appears at the Cartoon Art Museum on Saturday, February 23, 2019 at 6:30 PM.
Curator of the Jo Mora Trust, Peter Hiller has become one of the leading voices celebrating Mora’s work and legacy. He strives to enlighten and educate the public about Jo Mora, and to make the artist’s work available to a broader public. Hiller is author of the books Jo Mora, California Cowboy and Artist, From Dust to Granite: The Yosemite Art and Writing of Jo Mora and When I Get Wound Up Writing, I’m a Bad Article to Squelch: the Written Words of Jo Mora, as well as two finder’s maps to the locations of Mora’s work around the Bay Area and the Western United States. The Jo Mora Trust collection currently is held privately in Monterey, California.
About The Life and Times of Jo Mora Exhibition
October 27, 2018 – April 28, 2019
The Cartoon Art Museum’s exhibition, The Life and Times of Jo Mora, uses the works of category-defying artist Joseph Jacinto Mora (1876-1947) to illuminate an iconic era of American culture. The exhibition includes original comic strips, illustrations, drawings and paintings, maps, photography and books and runs through April 28, 2019 at the Cartoon Art Museum, 781 Beach Street, San Francisco.
One category of Jo Mora’s work that has remained largely unknown are his comics, specifically three cartoon series he created and pitched to Hearst Newspapers in the early 20th century: Twisty, ‘twas news then and Zip. All of these cartoons known to exist are included in this exhibition as its primary focus. This exhibition goes beyond Mora’s comics to take even more expansive look at his creative life, though still only scratching the surface of this amazing artist’s overall output. The exhibition is based on Hiller’s upcoming book, The Life and Times of Jo Mora, Iconic Artist of the American West, to be published in 2019 by the Book Club of California.
“At the crossroads of comics, illustration, map making and historical documentation is an artist whose work has all but vanished from the awareness of the public,” says Cartoon Art Museum Executive Director Summerlea Kashar. “We are fortunate that we are able to bring this work back into the public consciousness, for its artistic and historic merits. It is a quintessential strength of cartoon art to be able to communicate, entertain and illuminate, and Jo Mora’s work does all of this with delightful finesse. The Cartoon Art Museum is thrilled to be able to showcase this rare and unsung masterful artist.”
“Jo Mora isn’t an easy artist to categorize,” says Peter Hiller. “His very versatility is perhaps one of the main reasons his name is not as familiar as other artists, even though his work is still widely visible, even today. Mora’s artistic accomplishments weave their way through American culture like a rattlesnake through sagebrush. Western artist Frederick Remington encouraged the young artist—and Mora later produced sculpted bronzes of iconic cowboys and Native Americans to rival Remington’s own. Zane Grey featured Mora’s drawings in Western Magazine, where his work sits perfectly alongside that of Ed Borein and Charles Russell. Mora’s cowboy artwork was even used by the Levi Strauss Company for a Levi’s jeans advertising campaign.”
Cartoon Art Museum
781 Beach Street, San Francisco, CA 94109