SHEEHAN, Mrs. William F. (Blanche Nellany)

Oil on canvas, 44” x 34” (111.8cm x 86.4cm), signed upper left.

Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society, 25, Nottingham Ct., Buffalo, New York, NY 14216.

Town & Country, November (or October?) 17, 1903
New York Herald, December 6, 1903
Town & Country, December 12, 1903
Broadway Magazine, New York, March 1904, p.456 (reproduced)
Financial Times, New York, December 3, 1904
Town & Country, December 3, 1904
Brooklyn Life, December 3, 1904

M. KNOEDLER & CO., 355, Fifth Avenue (corner Thirty-fourth Street), New York, November 23 – December 3, 1904.


The sitter was born in 1869, and died on August 5, 1929 at Clifton Spring, New York. She was the sister of Charles V. Nellany, and the wife of William F. Sheehan, a prominent lawyer, businessman and Democratic politician who died March 14, 1917. It was William Sheehan who proposed Judge Alton B. Parker for President in opposition to Theodore Roosevelt in 1904. Apart from his many industrial and transport companies in Buffalo, he made millions in financial dealings with P.A.B. Widener of Philadelphia and Anthony N. Brady of Albany. In 1903 they lived on Fifty-sixth street in New York.

Town & Country, December 12, 1903 commented that at a studio reception to the view the portrait of Mrs. Sheehan ‘…everyone agreed that it was one of the best things he has done, showing Mrs. Sheehan in a gown of white and gold, and at her belt a cluster of purple orchids painted so delicately that they make one forget, for a minute, the more important qualities of the portrait. But in this picture Mr. Ury has painted his texture well, but not too finically, and the whole is broad and strong in style, and just in keeping with Mrs. Sheehan’s brightness and vigor.’