"A Legacy Reconsidered" is
used with thanks to ACA Galleries
www.acagalleries.com, who used this title for their exhibition of
Francis Luis Mora's works. The
links on this site are for project study and discussion. Please pronounce Luis
in the French manner, "Lu-ee."
The purpose of this site is to aid
curatorial selection of works for a public exhibition of Mora's
works and to compile a catalogue raisonne of the artist's works. Images of works are updated as we receive them from public
collections, and when permissions are granted from all collections.
F. (Francis) Luis Mora was an
acclaimed American artist. He was successful in academic and commercial
circles during the most competitive era of our nation's art history.
Mora was influential and honored, winning medals in many prestigious salon
competitions. A member of twenty influential art societies, he had
solo exhibitions at the leading galleries of his era. Art critics called him “prophetic,” “dazzling” and “life-fulfilling.”
Luis Mora was
most active between 1899 and 1931, when his wife of 31 years died
suddenly. There are extensive records of Mora’s awards, art society memberships,
and museums housing his works. Twenty-three museums in
eleven states and Canada own his works. Eleven American museums
own major oil paintings that were purchased directly from the
Mora was born in Uruguay to distinguished European parents. His father
was Domingo Mora (1840-1911), the Spanish architectural sculptor. His
mother was a French member of the Bacardi spirits family. The Moras left
Uruguay during an insurgency with their toddler sons, Luis and Jo (Joseph Jacinto
Mora 1876-1947.) Jo Mora became a noted California artist.
Luis Mora was a fully-assimilated American, speaking fluent English. He
grew up in Perth Amboy, New Jersey , and studied art in Boston and New York with Edmund Tarbell,
Frank Benson and H. Siddons Mowbray. He kept studios in New York City,
New Jersey (on the Raritan Bay), and in the CT Litchfield Hills.
He traveled to California, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada to paint Hopi and Navajo
Despite his success in the American art scene, Mora retained
his multi-cultural identity. He was fluent in Catalan, Spanish and
French. He used color with the sunny flair of a Latin American.
The Mora family had an artistic
lineage back to the mid-18th Century. The artist traveled
frequently to paint and study in El Museo del Prado. He rented a studio
in Madrid to fulfill commissions for his patrons Alfred Stieglitz and
William Macbeth. Elements of the Spanish masters are seen throughout
Mora’s works. He was strongly influenced by the works of Diego Velazquez and
his father's art school friend, Mariano Fortuny I (1838-1874).
Mora was a masterful figural draftsman who achieved elegant
A buoyant (and sometimes gleefully raucous) personality, Mora’s paintings are full of life.
He made positive statements about the world around him. Even disenfranchised subjects had dignity and hope
on Mora's canvases. They reflect who Mora
was: a confident and compassionate man.
F. Luis Mora was an optimistic Hispanic American who dreamed The American Dream,
worked hard to attain it, and never forgot his Latin American birthright
and Spanish heritage.
The artist's family and
friends have given us enthusiasm and guidance. With deep
appreciation to them and to the contributors to this project., I am
Lynne Pauls Baron,
Coordinator, The F. Luis Mora Project. Ms. Baron's biography is at
the end of the exhibition links.
CONTRIBUTORS to this
M. Elizabeth Boone,
Ph.D., Chairman, School of Art and Design, University of
Alberta.. Author of "Vistas de Espana," Yale Press, 2006. "Espana! American Artists and the Spanish
The New Britain Museum of American Art, 1999. Dr. Boone has published
extensively on American artists in Spain.
Laurene Buckley, Ph.D.,
Director of The Castellani Museum at Niagara University, author of "Edmund Tarbell: Poet of Domesticity," Hudson Hills Press, 2001,
and other books about leading American Impressionist painters, including
Mora's teacher, Frank Benson. Dr. Buckley was formerly the
Director of the Queens Museum of Art. She is widely published on
Hastings Falk, author, "Who Was Who in American Art,"
three volumes published by Soundview Press, 1999, and numerous other
important reference sources. Mr. Falk is a consultant to
www.askart.com, and now a principal
with Altermann's Auctions. He has extensive curatorial experience.
Mikaela Sardo Lamarche, Curator, ACA Galleries in New York City.
Ms. Sardo Lamarche is the author of the only contemporary catalogue
about F. Luis Mora, which includes his chronology.
Curator of Art, University of Connecticut Stamford Gallery, and guest
curator of The F. Luis Mora Project. Mr. Ortiz's specialty is curator of
20th century Latin American and Caribbean art collections. He has
been a curator with The Smithsonian Institution.
Click here for Early works