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Joseph Henry Sharp

Birth place or City of origin:
State of origin: OH
Last known City: Taos
Last known State: NM
Start/Birth date: 1859
Death/End date: 1953

Considered the "Spiritual Father" of the Taos Society of Artists, Sharp had a personal and business relationship with Elbert Hubbard, founder of the Roycrofters (Roycroft Press) and noted American writer, artist, and philosopher. Hubbard was an influential exponent of the Arts and Crafts movement and visited Sharp to trade art for furniture. Hubbard came to Sharp's cabin on the Crow Agency and a deal was made involving Ralph Elbert. The paintings acquired on that visit were printed in a very limited edition and very seldom surface. The dates on these paintings correspond to Elbert's visit to the reservation. The lithographs remained in the possession of the Hubbard family in New York until Ralph’s death.

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Known affectionately as the father of the Taos art colony. He was a painter, illustrator, and teacher whose love affair with the American Southwest and its native people was vividly expressed in his work. He was born in Ohio and studied at the McMicken School of Design. He later studied at the Munich Academy, and with Duveneck in Spain and Italy. In 1893, Sharp went to New Mexico, and ‘discovered’ Taos. He would visit many times over the next decade before finally moving permanently in 1912. He then began a campaign to get other artists to join him. He is considered a titan of American Art and his work can be found in museums and collections worldwide.

 

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