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F. Luis Mora papers, 1895-1969, bulk 1895-1922

F. Luis Mora papers, 1895-1969, bulk 1895-1922

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

Muralist, Painter, Etcher, Illustrator

Collection Information

Size: 2.0 linear feet (partially microfilmed on 3 reels)

Summary: Correspondence, diaries and other writings; photographs and glass plate negatives, and printed materials relating to Mora's career as a painter and illustrator.

Correspondence consists mostly of family letters, among them a letter from Mora to his wife's grandmother; a letter from Mora's wife, Sonia, to her grandmother; a letter from Emma Disosway Compton to her mother-in-law Emma DuBois Compton, and two postcards from Sonia Mora to her mother Emma Compton written from Cadiz, Spain. Also found is a letter to Mora from William Howe Downes with sketches by Mora.

242 monthly pocket diaries, 1899-1922, make up the bulk of the writings. The diaries contain brief daily entries and some sketches. The set for 1921 is missing and many years are incomplete. Mora writes about his work, including commissions for his paintings, murals, and illustrations, occasionally listing works sold, price and buyer information. He writes about his memberships in the Salmagundi Club and the National Academy of Design, teaching at the Art Students League, his ideas about painting, and his observations of the art scene including his visit to the 1913 Armory Show where he writes on March 17, 1913, "It was the purple hippopatamus in the rear tent that attracted the crowd at the 69th regiment Armory Show. That they call a successful art event. It was art- art in advertising." Also found is Mora's handwritten "Editorial," probably for election to the Lotis Club.

Photographs and glass plate negatives are of Mora, his family and students. Printed material includes exhibition catalogs, newspaper clippings, magazines, some with illustrations by Mora, as well as two books with illustrations by Mora, including "Birthright" by T.S. Stribling (1922), and "The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg," and other essays and stories, by Mark Twain (1917).

Biographical/Historical Note

Luis Mora (1874-1940) was a painter and illustrator from New York, N.Y. Mora is best known for his illustrations in magazines such as Century, Harper's, and Ladies' Home Journal.


Gift of Cornelia Colton, the married daughter of May Safford, who was F. Luis Mora's second wife. Additional papers were donated in 2008 by Gwen Compton, Mora's niece.

Additional Forms Available

Pocket diaries: microfilm reels 3567-3569 available for use at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed material (pocket diaries) must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

F. Luis Mora papers, 1895-1969, bulk 1895-1922. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.