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John Hauser (American, 1858-1913)
Birth Place: Cincinnati (Hamilton county, Ohio, United States)
Along with Henry Farny and Joseph Henry Sharp, John Hauser was one of three Cincinnati artists who became famous for their sensitive portraits of Native Americans. Hauser had extensive training in art schools in both America and Europe. He first traveled West in 1891, visiting Arizona and New Mexico. The trip began a lifelong fascination with Native American life and culture. While he painted American Indians, many of them notable chiefs, across the West, he became most closely associated with the Sioux. He was so highly respected by the Sioux that both he and his wife were welcomed as honorary members of the tribe in 1901.
Hauser's paintings are noteworthy for their complete authenticity in terms of clothing and other details of everyday Native American life. On his many trips to reservations throughout the West, he became an avid collector of native artifacts and clothing and utilized much of his collection in his paintings. Upon his death, his collection was donated to the Cincinnati Art Museum.
Plains Indian with Rifle is a classic example of Hauser's style and subject matter. Like Farny, he frequently placed his subjects directly in front of the viewer set against a majestic western landscape. Viewers of this painting and collectors of Hauser's work can always be assured that he was painstakingly accurate in depicting the setting, the clothing, and the possessions of his subjects. Today, his many paintings of American Indians are both a testament to his artistic skill and a visual history of 19th century Native American life.
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