You’ll be in my art

400 W Waterman St in front of the downtown Hyatt

The Babysitter statue is tucked away in front of Wichita’s Hyatt.  It is easy to miss, so keep your eyes peeled for it in the circle drive. The statue was dedicated on October 10. 1997. It was a gift to the city in memory of Charles Harris.

It was sculpted by Una Hanbury, (1904–1990). She was born Una Rawnsley in Staines, England and grew up in Kent.

After graduation from London’s Polytechnic School of Art (Home of Roger Waters, Nick Mason, and Rick Wright: three of the guys behind Pink Floyd), she studied at the Royal Academy of Arts.

Una Hanbury married her first husband, Anthony H.R.C. Hanbury, a stockbroker, in 1926, and retired to raise a family.

She later divorced Hanbury, left England with the kids and settled in Bermuda in 1940. She relocated again in 1944 to Washington D.C. to work for the British Embassy.  

After the war she became a real estate broker and general contractor until she married Alan C. Brown in 1957. 

She returned to art and developed a reputation as a portrait sculptor creating busts of Georgia O’Keeffe, Buckminster Fuller and Robert Oppenheimer.

In 1970 she moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she stayed until her death in 1990. Her papers are in the Smithsonian Archives of American Art.

According to the book, “Beautifying Wichita through Sculpture,” “The artist was in Brazil and saw a young girl in a bikini walking along the beach with a toddler on her shoulders.  The sculpture was a result of the Brazilian scene.  The teenager is looking towards the fountain in front of the hotel and the boy is looking towards the Arkansas River.” Note: The fountain is gone, replaced by a botanical display.

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