New Mexico Art Tells its History

The Village Lamplighter

The Village Lamplighter, n.d.
Joseph Henry Sharp (American, 1859 - 1953)
oil on canvas, 25 x 30 in. (63.5 x 76.2 cm)
Gift of Julius Gans, 1945

Joseph Henry Sharp was born in Bridgeport, Ohio, and began his art studies at the Cincinnati Art Academy. In 1882 he went to Europe to study, returning several times to continue his formal art training. His first trip to the American West in 1883 marked the beginning of his life-long pursuit of painting and recording Native American cultures of the region. He was one of the first Anglo artists to visit New Mexico, arriving in Santa Fe in 1883 and in Taos for the first time in 1893, on assignment for Harper’s Weekly. In 1912 Sharp became a permanent resident of Taos, where he purchased an old chapel for his studio and was regarded as the "father of the Taos Art Colony." He also visited Alaska, one of the first artists to travel there after the purchase of the Territory.

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