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    Description

    JOSEPH HENRY SHARP (American 1859-1953)
    Jerry
    Oil on canvas
    20 x 16 inches (50.8 x 40.6 cm)
    Signed lower left: JHSHARP
    Titled on stretcher bar on verso: Jerry

    Provenance:
    Forest Fenn;
    Dorothy and William Harmsen, Sr. (Denver, Colorado)<

    The painting features Jerry Mirabel (also known as Elk Foot and Túmenah), who was Sharp's favorite model and close friend. Over the course of the period 1913-1949, Mirabel posed for numerous portraits and scenes depicting tribal rituals. He died in 1980 at the age of 110. According to Forest Fenn, upon Mirabel's death "the Indians went into mourning and the pueblo was closed to all outsiders for three days" (The Beat of the Drum and the Whoop of the Dance: A Study of the Life and Work of Joseph Henry Sharp [Sante Fe, New Mexico, Fenn Publishing Company, 1983], p. 237).

    The painting features Jerry Mirabel (also known as Elk Foot and Túmenah), who was Sharp's favorite model and close friend. Over the course of the period 1913-1949, Mirabel posed for numerous portraits and scenes depicting tribal rituals. He died in 1980 at the age of 110. According to Forest Fenn, upon Mirabel's death 'the Indians went into mourning and the pueblo was closed to all outsiders for three days' (The Beat of the Drum and the Whoop of the Dance: A Study of the Life and Work of Joseph Henry Sharp [Santa Fe, New Mexico, Fenn Publishing Company, 1983], p. 237).

    Sharp established a reputation for his ability to render the distinctive facial features of the various tribes he pictured, as well as their individual costumes, artifacts and ceremonies. He created numerous half-length portraits of Native American men standing in three-quarter profile attired in feather bonnets and hide clothing. Sarah E. Boehme has noted that in these and related portraits beadwork and 'other characteristics of Indian design are evident on the clothing, but details are softened because Sharp painted with a loose style, using relatively broad, free brushstrokes ('The North and Snow: J. H. Sharp in Montana,' Montana 49 [Autumn 1990]: 35).

    Sharp wrote of his high regard for Native Americans: 'Most of the Indian painters of the last sixty years have painted the Indians as they are now, or in battle, horse rustling . . . and ignored their legends, sentiments, and home life. [I try] to present the Indian as he is . . . mentally as well as physically; not as ephemeral fiction has delighted to picture him, but as a human being, endowed with intelligence, swayed by nobility of thought, venerated by indolence, animated by craftiness, or calmed by reveries of bygone days' (Sharp is quoted in Forrest Fenn, The Beat of the Drum and the Whoop of the Dance: A Study of the Life and Work of Joseph Henry Sharp [Sante Fe, New Mexico, Fenn Publishing Company, 1983], p. 249).


    Condition Report*: Minor inpainting in upper right corner, overall less than one inch--otherwise excellent original condition
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2007
    24th-25th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,369

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

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