Donnellan, Thurston John (1840–1908)

By: Julia L. Vivian

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: January 26, 2017

Thurston John Donnellan, portrait painter, was born in Houston in 1840. His father was a violinist originally from Ireland and his mother was French, the daughter of General de Adendy of New Orleans. He studied art in Chicago and New Orleans under Oregon Wilson and began painting at the age of eighteen. In 1875 he married Jessamine Hawthorne. He painted portraits of several Confederate generals, including Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, but was best known for his portraits of Sam Houston, one of which is at Rice University, one at the Houston City Hall, and another in the Houston Public Library. Donnellan died in Houston in 1908.

Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

  • Visual Arts
  • Painting
Time Periods:
  • Antebellum Texas
  • Reconstruction
  • Late Nineteenth-Century Texas
  • Houston
  • Upper Gulf Coast
  • East Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Julia L. Vivian, “Donnellan, Thurston John,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 16, 2022,

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January 26, 2017

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