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Artist, Indiana Governors' Portrait Collection
James Frank Hanly (1863-1920)
Governor of Indiana
January 9, 1905-January 11, 1909
Artist: Wayman Adams, American, 1883-1959
oil on canvas, 38 x 32 (96.5 x 81.3)
Signed and dated l.l.: Wayman Adams/1913
THE PORTRAIT of J. Frank Hanly is also by Wayman Adams, but it predates the one of Governor Durbin by seven years. It is the earliest of this artist's work in the State House, and in many respects his best. In addition to his signature and that date on the canvas, we have the following record of its execution in the Indiana State Library Bulletin of November, 1913: "The last Assembly appropriated funds for the portraits of J. Frank Hanly and Thomas R. Marshall. Wayman Adams has finished the portrait of Mr. Hanly and it now hangs in the State Library. Mr. Marshall's has not yet been painted." This was almost four years after Hanly's administration closed.
A product of an era whose artists emphasized technical virtuosity, Wayman Adams applied richly textured brushstrokes with directness and speed. In each of the six official portraits by Wayman Adams the artist has employed his masterful artistic technique to refect the individual character of his subject. In the portrait of Governor Hanly, the heavy, loosely applied paint accentuates the sitter's rugged and brusque character. The colors are deep and earthy. Hanly's swarthy face and hands, his black suit and hair, and his white vest are seen against a ruddy brown background. The composition is severe in its simplicity; there is nothing to enrich the background, and no paraphernalia surrounds the model. With eyes fixed intently on the viewer Hanly faces front with his left hand gripping his thigh. The pose suggest an alert and forceful leader, while the facial expression is one of shrewd deliberation.
Source: Peat, Wilbur D. Portraits and Painters of the Governors of Indiana 1800-1978. Revised, edited and with new entries by Diane Gail Lazarus, Indianapolis Museum of Art. Biographies of the governors by Lana Ruegamer, Indiana Historical Society. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society and Indianapolis Museum of Art, 1978.