Running Horse

  • Joseph Henry Sharp, Running Horse, 1897, oil on paperboard, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase, 1985.66.209,417

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)

Running Horse
On View
13 3/4 x 9 5/8 in. (34.9 x 24.5 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Museum purchase

Mediums Description
oil on paperboard
  • Ethnic – Indian – Pueblo
  • Portrait male – Running Horse – bust
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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