Quinnah

  • Joseph Henry Sharp, Quinnah, 1902, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Bequest of Victor Justice Evans, 1985.66.362,131

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Joseph Henry Sharp painted almost two hundred portraits of Native Americans. Like many Europeans and Americans of the time, he placed people in racial categories according to their features. A Portland journalist wrote of Sharp’s portraits, “With the same perception, the artist seems to select the types that from the ethnologist’s standpoint, are nearest perfect.” (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). According to the artist, Quinnah was “a very strong type of young warrior [and] horse raider from [the] Crows . . .” (Sharp to Mr. Ewers, August 8, 1948).

Title
Quinnah
Artist
Date
1902
On View
Dimensions
18 x 12 1/4 in. (45.7 x 31.0 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Bequest of Victor Justice Evans

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Portrait male – Quinnah – bust
  • Ethnic – Indian – Flathead
Object Number
1985.66.362,131
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI