Binding People & Place / Inspiration

Mojave Yucca

(Mojave Yucca)

Henry Mockel
Before 1981

Henry Mockel (1905 – 1981) immigrated to the U.S. from Germany in 1923 and studied engineering and art in New York City. Growing dissatisfied with life on the east coast, he and his wife moved to the desert in late 1957.

Through his botanical paintings and illustrations, he hoped to inspire appreciation of the desert, one flower at a time. Mockel's work can be found in the collections of the Huntington Botanical Library, Library of Congress, and the California State Library.

This life-sized painting depicts a Mojave yucca (Yucca schidigera) flower stalk transitioning from flower to seed pods. Mockel used a layered polymer paint that dries into a plastic-like substance to create the 3-D effect.

Dimensional polymer paint on watercolor board. H 81, W 65 cm
Joshua Tree National Park, JOTR 11132