Antonio Benavides Castillo, a Mayanist who worked with the Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia (INAH), summed up the impact of George and Gerrie Andrews' work well in an e-mail included in their papers, written shortly before George's death in 2000:
You have achieved a lot of contributions in several Maya architectonic regions; you have published many specialized international forums and relevant books. You have lectured at different international forums educating and informing people about your passion with architecture and with the Maya civilization.
And you still think there a lot of things to be recorded, measured, photographed, analyzed and edited. You are right.
"There are no other George Andrews wandering here and there, there's only one George Andrews with your labor capacity and experience."
Meghan Rubenstein, an art history doctoral student at UT, helped set into motion the Alexander Architectural Archives's recent work on the George F. and Geraldine D. Andrews papers through her co-curation of the exhibition Maya Architecture: selections from the George F. and Geraldine Andrews Collection, as well as her own research. Meghan seconds Benavides Castillo's comments:
Precolumbian Maya sites are constantly changing, as they both naturally deteriorate and are reconstructed over time. I began working with the George F. and Geraldine D. Andrews archive a year ago to supplement my dissertation research on the architectural ornamentation at the Puuc site of Kabah. As part of my project I am assembling a historiography for the site: collecting photographs, descriptions, plans, maps and illustrations of Kabah.
George and Geraldine made several trips to Kabah, the first in 1960. During their earliest visits they were able to photograph the landscape cleared of brush, providing a view of the site not possible to experience today. Photographs in the collection also capture piles of architectural sculpture on the ground as well as larger architectural sculptures (see the Kabah figure in the gallery, which, post-restoration, has been replaced on the façade above eye level). George's detailed notes, measurements, and plans support his photographic records. No other individual has documented buildings in the Maya Lowlands with such accuracy.
I have also found unexpected treasures in the archives. There is an extensive collection of correspondence, copies of conference papers, and at least two unpublished manuscripts on Kabah. George's process becomes more transparent as I follow how he works through problems in his own research. I find something new every time I visit the archive.
"I am certain this collection will continue to serve me well throughout my dissertation research—and I will likely turn to it throughout my career as I continue to work on Mesoamerican architecture."
George and Gerrie Andrews truly left a lasting legacy for Maya studies. It is a large collection with ample challenges related to archival processing. Yet, with even a small portion processed, Edwin Román's archival research led to the discovery of a royal tomb at El Zotz, and Meghan Rubinstein was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship based upon her doctoral research. Imagine the treasures that await us with a fully processed and digitized collection. Visit our giving opportunities site for information about supporting the Alexander Architectural Archives and its efforts to process, preserve, and increase accessibility to the George and Geraldine Andrews collection.