A truly high quality charcoal drawing decidedly in the modernist vein, featuring two female figures, probably nuns, in an intriguing and mysterious landscape, one holding in her hand a Christian cross. The work, measuring 18" by 12 1/2" (25 1/2" by 19 1/2" framed), is signed at lower right "Joseph", which according to a biography in Hughes' Dictionary of California Artists is the typical signature of JOSEPH MARSH SHERIDAN (1897-1971). Sheridan was born in Quincy, Illinois, and old river town on the Mississippi River. Educated at Beloit College, the Art Students League in New York and Art Institute of Chicago, he embarked on a long career in art, teaching at the University of Minnesota as early as 1929. In 1931 he went to the University of California at Berkeley, studying with Hans Hofmann; shortly thereafter he was at Mills College in nearby Oakland studying with the great Archipenko. The 1940's found him teaching in places as widely separated as Arizona and Pennsylvania. On the reverse of the backing paper is written in old hand, possibly by the artist himself, "Return to the Art Center, 730 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, California". This was, during the first part of the century, the center of artist San Francisco, known as the "art block". Famously, Maynard Dixon was one of the artists who maintained a studio in that hive of creativity. An old Berkeley framer's sticker remains on the backing. The drawing, dating to the second half of the 1930's or first few years of the 1940's, is in excellent vintage condition. Note the slight amount of red color included by this highly talented and underrated artist. His works, including lithographs very similar to this piece, are included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, San Francisco.