TÉU-MAHS KÁTCHINA (Tumas or Crow Mother): part of Set of Eight Original Prints of Hopi Katchinas [NOT AVAILABLE]


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Joseph J. Mora (1876 - 1947) JO Mora

An Oklahoma gentleman named John R. Wilson was visiting Albuquerque in the mid-1970s and discovered a cache of 40 original paintings by artist and photographer J. J. Mora in Fisher Galleries.  Mrs. Fisher had them stored away for years, maybe decades, and Wilson, realizing their rarity, purchased them for a relatively large sum of money for the time.

Wilson brought them to the attention of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) which put together a three-year traveling exhibit based on the works of J. J. Mora.  Wilson, after the exhibit, put together a group of investors and they planned to publish all the original Mora paintings over a period of several years.  Eight of the paintings were published but the others never were for financial reasons.

The eight paintings that were published were ones painted by Mora in the early 1900s.  Mora, from Boston, had heard of the Hopi Snake Dance and was determined to go to the Hopi Reservation to see it in person.  He and a friend did just that in 1904.  What was to be a three-week trip lasted three years with Mora taking a house on the reservation and painting and photographing.  He and artist E. A. Burbank shared a house at Second Mesa where they both immersed themselves in Hopi culture.  Mora produced the best photographs of Hopi ceremonials that exist today.

In Boston, Mora was recognized as a gifted newspaper cartoonist and illustrator and was under contract to an important publisher, at the age of 25, but he was not satisfied to stay with that career.  He wanted to live out West which had always been his desire.  That he did in 1903.

The 8 images of Mora’s paintings that were reproduced in offset form are:

1. SHO-YÁNG-EP KÁTCHINA [Left-handed Katchina] (Soyangephoya) (click to view larger images of this print)

2. HÉU-MISH KÁTCHINA (Hemis) (click to view larger images of this print)

3. TÉU-MAHS KÁTCHINA (Tumas or Crow Mother)

4. MU-SHÁISH KÁTCHINA [Buffalo] (Mosairu) (click to view larger images of this print)

5. POO-WHÁ-MUICH KÁTCHINA (Powamu) (click to view larger images of this print)

6. SÉE-PEEK-NICH (Sipikne) (click to view larger images of this print)

7. HEU-MÍSH KÁTCHINA-MANA [Man] (Hemis Kachinmana) (click to view larger images of this print)

8. SHE-ÉU-HEU-MISH KÁTCHINA (Sio Hemis) (click to view larger images of this print)


The images were published in an edition of 650 copies, each image measuring 14-7/8 by 10-1/2 inches on paper measuring 18-1/2 by 14-1/4 inches.  The eight were presented in a portfolio, unframed. 


This set we are presenting contains the 8 images, each framed in blond wood frames without use of mats.  Each of these images is numbered 629/650.  The set is sold as a set only.


Condition:  original condition

Provenance: from the collection of a gentleman in Santa Fe

Recommended Reading:

1.     The Year of the Hopi: Paintings and Photographs by Joseph Mora, 1904-06An exhibition organized and circulated by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, 1979-1981

2.     Jo Mora: Renaissance Man of the West by Stephen Mitchell, Stoecklein Publishing, Ketchum 1994

Joseph J. Mora (1876 - 1947) JO Mora
C3525-3-print.jpgC3525-3-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.