Joseph Henry Sharp
Also Known as: J. H. Sharp
Bridgeport, Ohio 1859
Pasadena, California 1953
- Cincinnati, Ohio
- Taos, New Mexico
Joseph Henry Sharp, Peter A. Juley & Son Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum J0002176
Joseph Henry Sharp, Peter A. Juley & Son Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum J0002177
Luce Artist Quote
"I was always interested [in Native Americans] . . . It was the romance of youth, of boyhood, I suppose. Then when I came to know them I liked them for themselves. Perhaps they attracted me as subjects to paint because of their important historical value as the first Americans. Then the color of their costumes and dances, this no less attracted me." Joseph Henry Sharp, quoted in Fenn, The Beat of the Drum and the Whoop of the Dance: The Study of the Life and Work of Joseph Henry Sharp, 1983
Born in Ohio, studied in Europe, lived in California and New Mexico. The father of the artists' colony at Taos, starting in 1912, he specialized in portraits of Indians and larger paintings of Indian life, some of which are now at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Charles Sullivan, ed American Beauties: Women in Art and Literature (New York: Henry N. Abrams, Inc., in association with National Museum of American Art, 1993)
Painter. A childhood hearing loss curtailed Sharp's conventional schooling in his native Bridgeport, Ohio, but his artistic skill eneabled him to enroll at the McMicken School of Design in Cincinnati at the age of fourteen. In 1881 he went off to Europe, the first of three study trips abroad, each of which was followed by visits to New Mexico and the Columbia River basin. He spent part of the summer of 1893 in Taos and passed on word of its artistic resources to Ernest Blumenschein and Bert Phillips, whom he had met in Paris in 1895. For two decades, he divided his time between teaching at the Cincinnati Art Academy, sketching in the Northwest, and summering at Taos, where he finally established a permanent residence in 1912. Sharp was a charter member of the Taos Society of Artists, with which he exhibitied for many years. His favorite subject was the Indian and his fast-disappearing lifestyle. Sharp drew and painted with a facility and accuracy that gave his work ethnographic as well as artistic value.
C.M. Russell Museum. Joseph Henry Sharp and the Lure of the West. (Great Falls, Mont.: C.M. Russell Museum, 1978).
Broder. Taos: A Painter's Dream.
Fenn. The Beat of the Drum and the Whoop of the Dance.
Charles Eldredge, Julie Schimmel, and William H. Truettner Art in New Mexico, 1900–1945: Paths to Taos and Santa Fe (Washington, DC: National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 1986)