Ruled book used for recording accounts used by Native Americans in late 19th century as a paper source for colorful drawings. The emergence of ledger book art is considered to be a material culture link corresponding to the forced relocation of Plains tribes to government reservations in the 19th century. In the early 1860s Plains Indians acquired Western made papers in the form of ledger books and target books, as well as pens, watercolors, graphite and colored pencils, acquired through trade and as proceeds from battles with the American Army, in which they drew scenes that chronicled their experience and cultural traditions. During this early period, the demand for ledger book drawing was high among white settlers who viewed them as curiosities and souvenirs. Contemporary research on Plains Indians ledger book art is challenged by dispersed collections and the fragile and delicate material condition of ledger books due to poor quality paper and bindings. The dismantling of ledger books by art dealers seeking to gain economic profits is the largest threat to preserving these artworks and enabling future research on specific ledger book artists....
Deborah A. Middleton
American, 19th – 20th century, male.
Born 27 September 1859, in Bridgeport (Ohio), to Irish parents; died 27 August 1953, in Pasadena (California).
Painter, illustrator. Native Americans, figures, genre scenes, landscapes.
Joseph Henry Sharp moved to Cincinnati at the age of 14 and enrolled in art classes at McMicken School of Drawing and Design. He attended Cincinnati Academy of Art. His studio was in the same building as that of Henry Farny who gave him books on Pueblo Indians. In 1881, he went to Antwerp where he studied history and portrait painting in the realist tradition with Charles Verlat at the Antwerp Academy....