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    Sale 2003

    Important American Paintings, Drawings And Sculpture

    21 May 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 42

    Joseph Henry Sharp (1859-1953)

    The Chant

    Price Realised  


    Joseph Henry Sharp (1859-1953)
    The Chant
    signed 'J H Sharp' (lower right)
    oil on canvas
    20 x 16 in. (50.8 x 40.6 cm.)

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    "Sharp had the great gift of true friendship, the friendship that is based on respect, and of the hundreds of Indians who posed for him many were friends." (L.M. Bickerstaff, Pioneer Artists of Taos, Denver, Colorado, 1983, p. 69) The respect and integrity of his sitters are clearly evident in the intimate and sincere works, such as The Chant and Taos Ceremonial Drummer (see lot 43). A 1901 article offered the following review of Sharp's likenesses of the Native American tribes he had been living with: "...he is unexcelled by any other living painter of like subjects. There is a simplicity about these paintings by Mr. Sharp that is very impressive, and they are of as much historical value as his portraits...[they] show a strength of treatment, and a finish of detail, together with fine coloring, that evinces a master hand." (as quoted in Pioneer Artists of Taos, p. 70)

    At Sharp's funeral, fellow Taos artist Ernest Blumenschein expressed the enduring appeal of Sharp's work, saying, "some of these paintings will live as long as paint lasts on canvas. He was the reporter, the recorder of the absolute integrity of the American Indian...He will go down in history with Russell and Remington and the few early artists of Indian life. In trying to arrive at real values in our group of Taos artists, I sometimes wonder if our ambitious attempts along high art lines will be worth as much to the world as the honest unvarying recordings of this simple man, Henry Sharp." (as quoted in F. Fenn, Teepee Smoke, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2007, pp. 301-02)


    Period Gallery West, Scottsdale, Arizona.
    Acquired by the present owner from the above, 1980.

    Pre-Lot Text

    Property from the Collection of Arthur J. Stegall, Jr.


    Period Gallery West, Phoenix, Arizona, 1980, vol. II, p. 6, illustrated.
    P.J. Broder, Taos: A Painter's Dream, New York, 1980, p. 61, illustrated (as Drummer).

    Post Lot Text

    Please see separate catalogue for full entry.