‘The Life & Art of Joseph Henry Sharp’ Explores His Contributions to Western Art

This colorful volume looks at painter Joseph Henry Sharp’s influential works.

“As Sharp told his hometown newspaper in 1894 after his first meaningful trip to the Southwest, ‘Any one willing to sacrifice a few modern comforts and rough it through the mountains and Indian pueblos of New Mexico can experience a novel life, fully repaying the time and trouble.’”—Excerpt from The Life & Art of Joseph Henry Sharp preface by Peter Hassrick

Life and Art of Joseph Henry Sharp is perfect for fans of Western art.
The Life & Art of Joseph Henry Sharp’ | Softcover | 164 pages | Release Date: July 2019 | University of Oklahoma Press | $25 | or other online booksellers

Joseph Henry Sharp might not be as familiar a name as Frederic Remington or Charles Russell, but he was equally devoted to painting the West. This book explores his contributions to the genre.

Editor Peter H. Hassrick is director emeritus and senior scholar at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, where a number of Sharp’s works are held.

In the introduction, Karen B. McWhorter, Scarlett Curator of Western American Art at the Whitney Western Art Museum, explains how Sharp ended up in Taos, New Mexico, heavily influenced in his life and art by Native Americans.

Had the Ohio native stayed in the Midwest, she surmises, his art might have been totally different. “But Sharp did not stay in the Midwest,” she writes. “Instead, he sought the world as his classroom, and ultimately endeavored to create uniquely American art.”

Sharp lived on the Crow Agency Indian reservation in Montana, and found New Mexico to be inspiring, making multiple trips between the two states.

The book’s four extensive chapters follow the development of Sharp’s art, his studios, his Montana cabin, and his style, composition and subject matter. Illustrations fill the volume, which is an essential for fans and students of Western art.

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