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Tullah Hanley

    According to Tullah Innes Hanley, her father was a Hungarian building contractor, her mother, an Egyptian, born in a harem and adopted by Hungarian parents.  Her family became poverty-stricken upon the death of her father, leading, ultimately, to her coming to America.

Tullah came to the United States, along with her sister, Amy, in her early twenties intent on making more of her life.  According to Tullah, at first the Innes sisters "were not admitted to this country, but later, after we show our act, they say we are desirable aliens, after all." (Tantallo)  

She was educated in Hungary and Switzerland.  She could speak five languages, most likely learned on her many travels between Europe, South and North America. She appeared in musical halls, vaudeville, and night clubs with her unique classical Egyptian and African dances.  She was fifteen when she began to dance and an "old" twenty-four when she married Mr. Hanley.  They were married in 1948.


from "Beauty through Health and Culture"

 

She was a charismatic woman born for the stage.  She had an overflowing passion for life and all that life had to offer.  Her passions paralleled her husband's.  She took an active role in choosing many of the works she and her husband would collect.  Throughout all Mr. Hanley's collecting Tullah always claimed that she was the only "ostentatious" thing he owned.

 

Tullah also dabbled in writing and public speaking. She spent 6 years in the 1950's, writing The Strange Triangle of G.B.S., a novelized story of a love triangle involving George Bernard Shaw.  She was active in the community, lecturing at the YWCA in 1959 on "Beauty through Health and Culture", and on similar topics over the years.  Later in life, she wrote her autobiography entitled, The Love of Art and the Art of Love.  

As the latter title may indicate, Tullah's exotic approach to life was shocking to some of her neighbors.  Her suggestive dance routines and wardrobe were combined with a penchant for statements such as, "When he (Dr. Hanley) married me he got two for the price of one"--a reference to her sister, Amy, who shared the Hanley residence. (Tantallo)    


from the back cover of her autobiography

After the death of T. Edward Hanley she continued the couple's philanthropy, donating generously to the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford and many other college libraries.  She donated art and exhibited the pieces she kept all over the country.  She even began a youth center in Mr. Hanley's home town of Bradford, Pennsylvania, a source of much comment in the small city.

Tullah Innes Hanley died June 3, 1992.

Click on the images to view larger pictures

Dust jacket for Tullah's autobiography             Dust jacket for The Strange Triangle of G.B.S. Tullah's inscription

References:
Bolton, Whitney. "Looking Sideways." Buffalo Evening News 14 March 1957: n.p.
Bradford Era 5 August 1961. back
Canaday, John. "The Non-Immaculate Collection." New York Times 1 Jan. 1967: D19.
Hanley, Tullah.  Beauty through Health and Culture. N.p.: n.p, [1960].
Hanley, Tullah.  Letter to Fr. Damian [McElrath]. 6 Oct. 1974.
Hanley, Tullah.  Love of Art & Art of Love. Hanley, Tullah.  The Strange Triangle of G. B. S.  Boston: Bruce Humphries, 1956.
"New York Loses Its Cool Over Hanley Art Collection." Olean Times Herald  5 Jan. 1967: 18. back
Sorensen, Lee. Determined Donor : T. Edward Hanley & His Gift of Books to the University of Arizona Library, 1936-1964. 
    
Tuscon: Friends of the University of Arizona Library, 1989. back
Tantallo, Alpha.  "Art Collection's Owner Is Still Unaware of Theft."  Olean Times Herald  27 August 1968: 4. 

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Last updated:  03/05/04


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