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Chief Bull Child / Joseph Henry Sharp

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Chief Bull Child; Bull Child
Joseph Henry Sharp
oil on canvas
Overall: 16 3/4 x 12 3/4 x 1 5/8 in. (42.5 x 32.4 x 4.1 cm)
Object Type: 
Credit Line: 
Gift of the Thomas Gilcrease Foundation, 1964
Accession No: 
Signed, "J.H.Sharp./1904" in center right; Inscribed in pencil on cardboard backing, "Chief Bull Child- GREAT MEDICINE MAN of the BLACKFEET-MONTANA; Inscribed in pencil on three pieces of paper glued to the backing, "Bull Child, greatest Medicine Chief of Blackfeet- 1904-5 during one meeting, there were hundreds of painted teepees in a mile circle. A 4 day rain blew down & washed out many teepees. Bull Child and his rival Medicine Man and followers danced all day & night to stop the rain, and Bull Child finally won out and enhanced his reputation; on the second piece of paper: 2 - Bull Child- Sketch of his ceremonial Robe- Buckskin, eagle feathers & vermin tails- The emblems represented the sun, moon and morning star (Sun worshippers). For some time I "dickered" for his robe, but Wissler over bid and it is in N.Y. Nat. Hist. Museum; in pencil on the third piece of paper: Blackfeet in general- During summers of 1900-1905 advanced students of the Indians were at the Agency & over Reservation- Clark Wissler, head of N.Y. Nat. Hist. Museum Walter McClintock, Ethnologist, Arthur Nevin, Composer of Indian Opera & music- and others for shorter visits- We took advantage of many opportunities, rec'd Indians confidence & had no difficulties getting what we wanted - hence the many important portraits & genre studies".
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