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Do-Ree-Tah

1900 Joseph Henry Sharp Born: Bridgeport, Ohio 1859 Died: Pasadena, California 1953 oil on paperboard 13 5/8 x 9 5/8 in. (34.5 x 24.6 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase 1985.66.209,418 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 12B


Luce Center Label

Joseph Henry Sharp painted Do-Ree-Tah from life at his summer studio in Taos, New Mexico. She was a Pueblo Indian, and Sharp later explained that her headdress marked her as unmarried. (Letter from Sharp to Mr. Ewers, Taos, New Mexico, August 8, 1948) In 1898, Sharp was one of the first artists to set up a studio in Taos, where he persuaded his sitters to dress in clothing from his own collection of native artifacts. Art critics praised Sharp for his ability “to assemble around his subjects authentic paraphernalia, which gives the true atmosphere of their romantic past.” In this portrait the spare background and broad brushwork focus our attention on the girl’s facial features. Sharp also eliminated any props that might hint at the modern world in which his models existed. (Watkins, “Painting the American Indian at the Turn of the Century: Joseph Henry Sharp and His Patrons, William H. Holmes, Phoebe A. Hearst, and Joseph G. Butler, Jr.,” PhD diss., 2000)

Keywords

Ethnic - Indian - Pueblo

Portrait female - unidentified - Do-Ree-Tah

painting

paint - oil

paperboard

About Joseph Henry Sharp

Born: Bridgeport, Ohio 1859 Died: Pasadena, California 1953

More works in the collection by
Joseph Henry Sharp