When George and Gerrie Andrews climbed their first Maya pyramid in the late 1950s, they hardly could have anticipated that a life's calling was awaiting them. Yet by 2000, they had documented approximately 800 buildings at 224 separate sites. As a practicing architect, George brought a unique focus to Maya studies through fieldwork that produced detailed measurements, scale photography, reports, and architectural drawings and plans. While George sometimes engaged the services of students when he was a professor at the University of Oregon, Gerrie was his most faithful field assistant, accompanying him on most of his trips.
This exhibit highlights selections from the George and Geraldine Andrews collection at the Alexander Architectural Archives. The featured materials range from photographs to correspondence to reports, in an effort to showcase the Andrews' contribution to Maya studies and their life's work. However, the exhibit is but a small sampling of thousands of pages of descriptive data, architectural drawings, and photographic materials.
"Then—came the Maya story. From 1957* to 2000 we worked in Mexico and Central America investigating Maya sites and recording all architectural data. We had many harrowing experiences and met with archaeologists in the field and survived with many memories."
*Gerrie's travel journals tentatively date their first Maya expeditions to 1956–57, but George's dedication to Maya Cities places their first trip in 1958. Further processing of field notes hopefully will solve the mystery!