Juan de Dios Mora’s Work Acquired by Smithsonian American Art Museum

by Christopher Blay January 15, 2020
Juan-Mora-Ya-Mero-Llego -Almost There)-2019-acquired-by-the-smithsonian-american-art-museum

Ya Mero Llego (Almost There) 2018. One of five works by Juan Mora acquired by the Smithsonian.

Five of San Antonio -based artist Juan de Dios Mora’s prints have entered the collection of The Smithsonian American Art in Washington, D.C.  The University of Texas, San Antonio (UTSA) senior art lecturer’s works are inspired by the cultural mash-up Mora experienced as a young man, and the people he has met along the way.

In 1998, the Yahualica, Jalisco Mexican native emigrated at age 14 to Laredo with his family. His fascination with American art aside, the stereotypes, racism and other experiences affected the young Mora, and also inspired him to imbue his subjects with the levity and humor of everyday Laredo life of the typical Mexican-American.

In the publication UTSA Today, Gregory Elliott, Chair of the Art and Art History department at UTSA, states about the acquisition: “The inclusion and acquisition of Juan Mora’s prints in the Smithsonian American Art Museum collection is an honor and dream that every artist hopes for. It is an irrefutable acknowledgment of the quality and importance of an artist’s work.” He adds: “This honor also has great importance for our department, college and university in that Juan holds his undergraduate B.F.A. and his graduate terminal degree from UTSA. He is 100% Roadrunner!”


El Animos es Primero (Encouragement is First) 2018. One of five works by Juan Mora acquired by the Smithsonian.

UTSA Today also quotes Mora: “Coming from Mexico, growing up on a ranch, going the extra mile for my students—I’ve always been about hard work. Having that hard work pay off is an unbelievable feeling. I feel so fulfilled.”

Mora’s lengthy exhibition CV includes recent shows at San Antonio’s McNay Art Museum (Glasstire’s Christina Rees wrote about that exhibition here) and the Mexic-Arte in Austin. Mora’s letter from Emily Conforto, the Smithsonian’s Assistant Registrar, Collections Information, reads, in part: “We are excited to add these works to our permanent collection.”

For more on Mora and his work, please go here.

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