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Biographical Note | A Finding Aid to the Una Hanbury papers, 1910-1994, bulk 1966-1990

Una Hanbury papers, 1910-1994, bulk 1966-1990

Biographical Note

Una Hanbury (1904-1990) was a sculptor in Washington, D.C. and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Hanbury was born in Middlesex, England, in 1904; the incorrect birth date of 1909 that she submitted to Who's Who and other biographical reference sources is cited in numerous published articles. Hanbury [née Rawnsley] exhibited artistic talent as a young child and received instruction from animal artist Frank Calderon. After graduation from London's Polytechnic School of Art, she studied for three years at the Royal Academy. Jacob Epstein was her most influential teacher.
Soon after completing her formal education, Una Rawnsley became Una Hanbury and devoted herself full-time to being a wife and mother. During World War II she left England for Bermuda and brought her family to the United States once the war was over. Hanbury settled in Washington, D.C., where she resumed her sculpting career, completing many large scale commissions for public buildings such as the Medical Examiners Building, Baltimore, and St. Mark's Lutheran Church, Springfield, Virginia, among others. She developed a fine reputation as a portrait sculptor, and commissions included busts of Rachel Carson, Enrico Fermi, Buckminster Fuller, Laura Gilpin, Richard Neutra, Georgia O'Keeffe, Robert Oppenheimer, S. Dillon Ripley, and Andrés Segovia. In addition, animals--particularly horses--were a favorite subject since childhood; sculptures were commissioned by several zoos, and horse portraits often were commissioned by owners.
In 1970, Una Hanbury relocated to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she continued working well into old age and became a significant force in the art life of that region.