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The Life and Art of Joseph Henry Sharp
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$25.00 Paperback

The Buffalo Bill Center of the West is a fount of major collections of art from some of the most renowned painters and sculptors of the American West. Holdings of artworks by titans such as Frederic Remington and Charles Russell number in the hundreds. The painter Joseph Henry Sharp, while claiming less space on the walls of the Center’s Whitney Western Art Museum, is represented by a substantial number of works that reveal his joy and devotion to the West and to its indigenous people. The Center also owns a set of Sharp’s papers, an extensive archive gifted by the artist’s primary chronicler, Forrest Fenn of Santa Fe. Fenn also donated Sharp’s Montana cabin, the “Absarokee Hut,” to the Center, thus collectively making the museum a focal point for Sharp studies.

This volume marks a fresh inspection of who Sharp was, how and where he was trained as a painter, why he selected the nation’s western Native population as a primary subject, what impact his imagery had on audiences across the continent, and how his production as a painter of what he referred to as the “real Americans” differed from that of his contemporary peers.

Beyond the pages of this book, and in conjunction with its findings and insights about Sharp, the Center has produced an online catalogue of some 700 examples of the artist’s paintings held in public collections. The repositories of these works span the country from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles with an obvious wellspring held by institutions in the West and Midwest. Readers who avail themselves of this volume’s additional, electronic chapter will be rewarded with a vast and compelling compendium of Sharp’s treasured paintings from over fifty museums, foundations, and libraries around the country.

About The Author

Peter H. Hassrick is Director Emeritus and Senior Scholar at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of many publications, including Frederic Remington: A Catalogue Raisonné II, Painted Journeys: The Art of John Mix Stanley, and In Contemporary Rhythm: The Art of Ernest L. Blumenschein.


Marie Watkins is Professor Emerita of Art History at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, is a specialist in American art of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Among her most recent publications is the essay “Bound for Taos: In Search of American Art” in Elevating Western American Art: Developing an Institute in the Cultural Capital of the Rockies.
Sarah E. Boehme is Curator at the Stark Museum of Art and author of contributions to Shaping the West: American Sculptors in the 19th Century; In Contemporary Rhythm: The Art of Ernest L. Blumenschein; and Forging an American Identity: The Art of William Ranney.
Kelin Michael completed a research assistantship under Peter H. Hassrick at the Whitney Western Art Museum, Buffalo Bill Center of the West, in the summer of 2018, where she conducted the research that lead to her chapter on Joseph Henry Sharp’s artistic influences. She received her B.A. from Oberlin College in Art History and French and her M.A. from Emory University, where she is currently a Ph.D. candidate in medieval art history.
Karen B. McWhorter is the Scarlett Curator of Western American Art for the Whitney Western Art Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. She has contributed essays to Elevating Western American Art: Developing an Institute in the Cultural Capital of the Rockies (2012), A Place in the Sun: The Southwest Paintings of Walter Ufer & E. Martin Hennings (2015), Fur Traders and Rendezvous: The Alfred Jacob Miller Online Catalogue, and Invisible Boundaries: Exploring Yellowstone’s Great Animal Migrations (2016), and has authored numerous articles on contemporary western American art.
Book Information
129 b&w and color illus.
164 Pages
Paperback 978-0-931618-72-7
Published July 2019
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