Joseph Henry Sharp was an American painter and a founding member of the Taos Society of Artists, of which he is considered the "Spiritual Father". Sharp was one of the earliest European-American artists to visit Taos, New Mexico, which he saw in 1893 with artist John Hauser. He painted American Indian portraits and cultural life, as well as Western landscapes. President Theodore Roosevelt commissioned him to paint the portraits of 200 Native American warriors who survived the Battle of the Little Bighorn. While working on this project, Sharp lived on land of the Crow Agency, Montana, where he built Absarokee Hut in 1905. Boosted by his sale of 80 paintings to Phoebe Hearst, Sharp quit teaching and began to paint full-time.
In 1909, he bought a former chapel in Taos to use as a studio, near the house of the artist E. Irving Couse. In 1912 he and his wife moved to the area full-time. He built a house with studio near the chapel. Both artists' homes and studios are part of the Eanger Irving Couse House and Studio—Joseph Henry Sharp Studios, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.