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A Los Angeles map from 1942 causes a big stir in 2012

"Historical and Recreational Map of Los Angeles" by Jo Mora, 1942.
Los Angeles Public Library

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Joseph Jacinto Mora was an illustrator and cartoonist who came west from the Boston area to Carmel in Central California in 1920 to work on the Father Serra Cenotaph in the chapel at El Camelo Mission. But Mora’s main notoriety came from a series of illustrated maps he created of California locales.

Mora called them ‘cartes’ – and in modern times, his maps are sought after, full of character and expensive. But lately, arty Angelenos have been abuzz with the recent news that a set of 250 posters of Mora’s exquisite map of Los Angeles will be available for $45, far less than the $4,000 that original prints have fetched. Mora’s L.A. carte features many historically accurate landmarks and some oddball details like a mysterious ostrich near Lincoln Heights and a lion farm in Alhambra. Glen Creason, the map rock star behind the book “Los Angeles in Maps” called Jo Mora’s Los Angeles carte his “favorite map of all.”

The map is available for purchase at Skylight Books in Los Feliz, at the Central Library of Los Angeles or by emailing Peter Hiller at philler@jomoratrust.com


How can Los Angeles’ history inform its future? Does making posters of a rare map make the image less unique?


Peter Hiller, Jo Mora Trust Collection Curator