“Historical and Recreational Map of Los Angeles,” designed by Jo Mora in 1942 and dedicated to his “buen amigo” Charles Lummis. The map squeezes in an extraordinary amount of historical facts and figures onto its 23- by 30-inch surface, depicting almost the entire history of Los Angeles up to that point, while looking toward the future.
Mora took a humorous approach to issues surrounding the tangled history of Los Angeles. The amount of detail is astounding, covering a huge spectrum – from the city’s water wars to the rise of the film industry. Excerpts don’t do the map justice (you owe it to yourself to go look at the full size map at the exhibit), but observing the details reveals Mora’s keen understanding of the city.
Here are some excerpts from the map.
The founding of the city:
“Sunshine and mañana + love and fandangos = a delightful Pacific Arcadia.”
“I hereby name this first subdivision in Alta California – Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles de Porciúncula”
Population growth of L.A.:
“Please help me figure out what IS the matter with the L.A. climate?”
The Beach and Conquistadores:
“Such different from our time…no?”
“Seguro que si (of course it is), but what muchachas!”