Hand

  • Joseph Henry Sharp, Hand, ca. 1900, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase, 1985.66.209,421

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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)

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“ . . . 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 Unpublished letter from Joseph Henry Sharp to Mr.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

Title
Hand
Artist
Date
ca. 1900
On View
Dimensions
18 x 12 in. (45.7 x 30.5 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Museum purchase

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Ethnic – Indian – Sioux
  • Portrait male – Hand
Object Number
1985.66.209,421
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI