Plants–Mostly Tropical: An Exhibition of Drawings and Paintings by Marion Ruff Sheehan
26 April – 15 October 1971
This exhibition featured 72 watercolors and pen-and-ink drawings by Marion Ruff Sheehan (also Mrs. Thomas J. Sheehan; 1923–1998) from the Institute's collection and on loan from the artist and the L. H. Bailey Hortorium at Cornell University. George H. M. Lawrence (1910–1978; Hunt Botanical Library Director, 1960–1970) had hired Ruff in 1946 as a botanical illustrator when he worked at the Bailey Hortorium, where she produced pen-and-ink drawings for Liberty Hyde Bailey (1858–1954). She also did the pen-and-ink and pencil drawings for Lawrence's Taxonomy of Vascular Plants (1951) and Introduction to Plant Taxonomy (1955). In 1952 Ruff married Thomas J. Sheehan, who had a Ph.D. in floriculture from Cornell and specialized in tropical ornamental crops. Together they produced a number of publications on subtropical ornamental plants, which were detailed in the bibliography of the accompanying catalogue.