This vigorously painted oil was produced in the mid-1930s. Picturing John Hunting Son and Jerry Elk Foot, the painting portrays two of Sharp’s favorite Taos Pueblo models making music. It is thought to have been first shown in Cincinnati at the Kreimer Gallery where it was favorably reviewed by the Cincinnati Enquirer’s art critic, Mary L. Alexander.
Typical of Sharp’s critics in these years, Alexander praised the artist for the diversity of his types of subject matter, from landscapes to figure work and still life paintings. She was also impressed by the variations in mood that Sharp was able to impart through his work, from the “humorous” to the “solemn” and “sober side of the native Westerner.” Most significantly, though, Alexander recognized the continuing import of his devotion to the Native people of the Southwest. She wrote that “Indian life, as we have come to know it through Mr. Sharp’s work, is here, as it always has been, and though the display does not show the corn dance, the Indian pueblos, and the redskin stalking game, these old favorites weave in and out of our thoughts as we view the pictures.” (Cincinnati Enquirer, 11/10/35).
This, in fact, was to be one of Sharp's last Indian paintings for quite a while. For, despite what he inferred to the critic Alexander about sustained interest in Bative themes, he, just a week later, confided in her that "From now on, there will be no more Indians. I think, after forty years I have earned the right to paint the things that give me pleasure …" Hawaii, not the Pueblo people, was now his chosen subject. (Cincinnati Enquirer, 11/17/35)
Peter H. Hassrick