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F. Luis Mora papers, 1891-1986, bulk 1891-1922

Mora, F. Luis (Francis Luis), 1874-1940

Muralist, Painter, Etcher, Illustrator

This site provides access to the papers of F. Luis (Francis Luis) Mora in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2012. The papers have been scanned in their entirety, and total 4,528 images.

Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Collection Information

Size: 1.5 linear feet

Summary: The papers of painter and illustrator F. Luis Mora measure 1.5 linear feet and date from 1891 to 1986, with the bulk of material dating from 1891 to 1922. The collection includes biographical information, correspondence, 242 small monthly pocket diaries by Mora, and printed and photographic materials.
Biographical material includes one folder containing Mora's Rothschild Prize certificate.
The correspondence is primarily with galleries regarding sales, the value of artwork, and Mora's murals for the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904. There is also correspondence with Mora's family and friends regarding his personal life and a family vacation in Cadiz, Spain. The collection also includes two Christmas cards, several illustrated letters and two invitations to Mora's solo art shows. Some of the correspondence is to and from Mora's first wife, Sophia Compton.
The majority of the writings consists of 242 monthly pocket diaries, which contain brief daily entries and some sketches. Mora writes about his work, memberships in the Salmagundi Club and the National Academy of Design, and teaching at the Art Student League. He also discusses his ideas about painting and his observations of the art scene, including his visit to the 1913 Armory Show. Also included is a handwritten "Editorial" by Mora, probably for election to the Lotos Club.
Printed material includes clippings, brochures, programs, advertisements, exhibition catalogs, books, and magazines. Two books, "The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg and Other Essays and Stories," by Mark Twain (1917), and "Birthright," by T.S. Stribling (1922), both illustrated by Mora, are included, along with over a dozen magazines containing illustrations by Mora.
Photographs include black and white photographs and glass plate negatives of Mora, family and friends, students, and artwork. Black and white pictures of Mora's artwork include his "Thine is Glory" mural (1919), the "National Academy Jury of 1907" painting (1907) and an etching of his daughter, Rosemary. Glass plate negatives are of his first wife, Sophia Compton, her mother Emma, Mora's father Domingo, the painting "Dance of Salome" (1893), Mora's brother-in-law Alfred Compton, his Boston Museum and Chase School of Art classes, and the Perth Amboy Terra Cotta Company, where Mora's father worked.

Biographical/Historical Note

Luis Mora (1874-1940) was a painter and illustrator from New York, New York.


The F. Luis Mora papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Cornelia Colton, the daughter of Mora's second wife, May Safford, in 1975. Additional papers were donated in 2008 by Gwen Compton, Mora's niece.

Related Materials


Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.