The rediscovery of F. Luis Mora (1874-1940) is one of the most poignant in American art history. As America's first Hispanic master he was the youngest member elected to the National Academy, won numerous awards, and was considered by William Merritt Chase as his most important teaching assistant. He was elected to fifteen prestigious art societies, and his works are held by thirty-five museums in the United States and Canada.
Mora dedicated his career to imbue American painting with the techniques of the great Spanish masters. He often noted that his role as an artist was "the expression of beauty." In 1910 he wrote, "Art is the whispering of the great voice of nature." Despite his great success he suffered tragedies, too, and by the end of his life he had become virtually forgotten.
Mora found beauty in the Spanish subjects for which he became well known and in his American Impressionist pictures. His character studies and portraits show his ability to depict inner beauty. Even his paintings that were reproduced as World War I posters show the beauty of the American spirit. Mora is also remembered for his beguiling work as an illustrator for many popular magazines as well as the writings of Mark Twain. The exhibition at the Mattatuck Art and History Museum in Waterbury, Connecticut demonstrated the diversity of the subjects and styles that brought him coveted medals and prizes.