Joseph Henry Sharp: New Mexico Museum of Art
Members of the Taos Society of Artists are largely known for their works of Taos, particularly its people. And yet members of the TSA were like any other artists painting in the world: they meandered through genres and subjects, wilfully painting what they found interesting.
This artistic meandering will be abundantly clear when museum visitors catch a glimpse of two floral paintings created by Joseph Henry Sharp at the New Mexico Museum of Art. A total of three works by Sharp, long known for his work of Native Americans, have been donated to the Santa Fe museum from Lore Thorpe, daughter-in-law of Kathryn V. Thorpe, who owned and managed Santa Fe’s Bishop’s Lodge from the late 1920s through the mid 1950s. Kathryn Thorpe bought the paintings directly from Sharp and helped Sharp sell his other paintings at the lodge.
One of the earliest European American artists to visit Taos, Sharp has a significant body of still life works. The three paintings donated by Thorpe include the two floral works, Dry Flowers and Marigold-calendula, and a landscape titled Taos Cañon.
Museum director Mary Kershaw says, “The Museum of Art currently holds 16 works by Sharp in its permanent collection, but these are the first two flower paintings and they are gorgeous. We are grateful for this significant donation to the museum from the Thorpe family and proud to supplement our collection of works from the man considered the ‘spiritual father’ of the [Taos Society of Artists].”
Lore Thorpe adds, “I’m very happy these beautiful paintings are going to be in a place where they will be honored and respected and that the public is going to be able to see these paintings because they are truly exceptional.”
Joseph Henry Sharp (1859-1953), Taos Cañon: Cottonwood, Box Elder, Cedar, and Sage, ca. 1935, oil on canvas. Gift of Lore Thorpe in memory of Kathryn V. Thorpe, 2018.
Joseph Henry Sharp (1859-1953), Marigold-calendula, ca. 1935, oil on canvas. Gift of Lore Thorpe in memory of Kathryn V. Thorpe, 2018.
Joseph Henry Sharp (1859-1953), Dry Flowers, ca. 1935, oil on canvas. Gift of Lore Thorpe in memory of Kathryn V. Thorpe, 2018.