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Joseph Henry Sharp
(Bridgeport, Ohio, 1859 - 1953, Pasadena, California)
From a young age, Joseph Henry was fascinated by anything to do with Native Americans. After almost drowning in a river, his hearing was permanently damaged, and from then on he had to read lips and carry a writing pad to communicate. He not only used his writing pad to speak with other people - he also used it to sketch scenes of the outdoors. When he was 14, he enrolled in the Mickmicken University in Cincinnati, where he studied art. After saving enough money, he went to Europe's Antwerp Academy, and learned realism, history painting, and portraiture. He first visited the American West in 1883, and became successful for his pictures of Native Americans, particularly the ones painted in Taos, New Mexico. While studying again in Paris, he met other painters interested in the West, and they eventually formed the Taos Society of Artists in 1915.