HANNA, Archbishop Edward

Three-quarter length seated. Oil on canvas, 50” x 40”. Signed upper left ‘A. Muller Ury’.

Present Whereabouts Unknown.

GUMP’S, San Francisco, August/September 1923.

New York Herald, July, 10, 1923
The Bulletin, San Francisco, July 26, 1923 (reproduced)
The San Francisco Examiner, n.d. (July 26, 1923?) – ‘Archbishop Painted by Master Hand’ by Robert H. Willson (reproduced)
Call and Post, San Francisco, September 18, 1923 – ‘Greatness at Close Range’ by John D. Barry.

Hanna was born on July 21, 1860 in Rochester, N.Y., and educated in Rome at the Collegio di Prapaganda Fide, Cambridge and Munich. He was Professor of Theology in Rochester between 1893 and December 1912 when he was appointed auxiliary bishop of San Francisco by Pope Pius X. He became Archbishop of San Francisco on June 1, 1915. He resigned the living on March 4, 1935. He died in Rome on July 10, 1944.

Bibliography of sitter: Richard Gribble, An Archbishop for the People: The Life of Edward J. Hanna, 2006

Muller-Ury informed Bishop Shahan, the Rector of The Catholic University in Washington D.C., on May 23, 1923, that he was leaving the first week of June to paint Hanna’s portrait. (Shahan’s reply is dated May 25 [artist’s papers]) On June 2, 1923 he wrote from his New York studio to inform Hanna he was on his way (Chancery Archives, Archdiocese of San Francisco):

            ‘Most Rev. Archbishop Hanna

            My dear Friend

Just a line to kindly request you to send some of your servants to an Art store or artist material place to order just one Stretcher 40 x 50 inches as I cannot pack same from here in any of my trunks even folded – I will bring the canvass (sic) & then have same stretched in St. Francisco – But please order same at once so I would have this stretcher when I reach St. Francisco. I will leave N.Y. surely Saturday & may pass one day in Chicago but I will be in St. Francisco the 15th as promised – I am looking forward with the greatest pleasure to be in St. F. & I hope to find you in the best of health in your usual good spirit. Kindest regards to Your Grace & believe me

                                    Yours most sincerely,

                                                Adolfo Muller Ury.’

He painted two portraits of the Archbishop (and two other portraits) during his three month stay in San Francisco, according to a letter dated August 28, 1923 he wrote to Bishop Shahan at the Catholic University in Washington in which he questioned whether his donation of a portrait of Pope Benedict XV had reached him (Archives of the Catholic University). The second portrait of Hanna seems never to have been photographed, and the sitters in the two other portraits are unknown. On October 14, 1923, Muller-Ury wrote a letter-card to the Archbishop (Chancery Archives, Archdiocese of San Francisco) in which he said ‘…I hope the portrait is back & will be admired by artistic friends of Your Grace & so have the results we expect…’ This may mean that the picture was finished in New York and that once returned to San Francisco the artist hoped for commissions as a result of having the portrait of his friend the Archbishop exhibited.