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    F. Luis Mora, N.A. (1874-1940)

  A Legacy Reconsidered  


and Preliminary Images for the forthcoming Catalogue Raisonne.

 "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 artist.

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 Indians.

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 compositions. 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 project:

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 Experience," 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 American Impressionists.

Peter 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.

Benjamin Ortiz, 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