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Auckland City Art Gallery/David Bateman, Auckland, 1992. Paperback with fading to spine.
49 Colour plates reproducing Sharpe's works, while a further five appear among the black and white illustrations.
Alfred Sharpe (1836-1908) played a leading role in Auckland's art culture of the 1870s and 1880s, receiving support exclusively from private collectors. No example of his work was acquired for a public collection until well into the twentieth century, when details of his career had been forgotten. Sharpe was destined to become the enigma of New Zealand art history, reputedly a deaf mute, the details of whose birth, life and death were unknown.
By patiently sifting through the evidence in old newspapers Roger Blackley has excavated an astonishing story of Sharpe's struggle for recognition as an artist.