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Running Horse

1897 Joseph Henry Sharp Born: Bridgeport, Ohio 1859 Died: Pasadena, California 1953 oil on paperboard 13 3/4 x 9 5/8 in. (34.9 x 24.5 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase 1985.66.209,417 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 12B

Luce Center Label

Joseph Henry Sharp painted Running Horse in Taos, New Mexico, where he made idealized portraits of Native Americans for his Cincinnati patrons. In a letter to John Ewers in August 1948, Sharp noted that he painted this portrait “years ago before they began to paint and dress up with feathers and stuff for tourists. This fellow is [now] a big fat 200-pounder & has a curio store!” Sharp’s comment indicates that many of his models, though pictured in “authentic” costume and seemingly untouched by the modern world, had become assimilated into a culture that regarded them as marketable curiosities. (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)


Ethnic - Indian - Pueblo

Portrait male - Running Horse - bust


paint - oil