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ca. 1900 Joseph Henry Sharp Born: Bridgeport, Ohio 1859 Died: Pasadena, California 1953 oil on canvas 18 x 12 in. (45.7 x 30.5 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase 1985.66.209,421 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 12B

Luce Center Quote

“ . . . I was interested mostly in painting the great chiefs, warriors, and character as they impressed me.” Unpublished letter from Joseph Henry Sharp to Mr. Ewers, August 9, 1948

Luce Center Label

Hand was a Sioux Indian of Pine Ridge from the northern Plains. In this portrait he wears a buffalo-hide sash and feathers that identify him as a warrior and chief. His weathered face and piercing eyes reveal a proud but weary man. In the summer of 1899, Joseph Henry Sharp visited the Crow Agency in Montana, where many tribes, including the Sioux, attended a Crow Council. It is possible that he painted Hand from life, but he likely completed the painting in his studio using a photograph, a common practice of the artist. (Sharp to Mr. Ewers, August 9, 1948; Fenn, The Beat of the Drum and the Whoop of the Dance, 1983)


Ethnic - Indian - Sioux

Portrait male - Hand


paint - oil

fabric - canvas