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John McAndrew papers

Identifier: 3P-McAndrew

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of the personal and professional papers of former Professor of Art and Director of the Art Museum of Wellesley College, John McAndrew, with some papers of his wife Betty Bartlett McAndrew, dating from circa 1906-2009 (bulk 1936-1984). The collection consists of six series.

Series I. Biographical and memorial records (1912-2009) contains materials related to John McAndrew's life and accomplishments, including diplomas, certificates, CVs, awards received, donations given, a calendar, articles and a book written about McAndrew and his work, as well as obituaries, memorial events, dedications, and gifts, and messages of condolence to his wife. Also includes Betty Bartlett McAndrew's diaries. Series II. Save Venice records (1966-2001) relates to McAndrew's work with Save Venice, Inc. which he founded in 1971 and served as chairman for in the early 1970s, with the mission to preserve Venice’s artistic heritage. This series includes administrative and financial records of Save Venice, including its By-Laws and articles of incorporation, correspondence, news clippings, and event materials. Series III. Academic writings (1938-1986) pertains to two of McAndrew's books, The Open Air Churches of Sixteenth Century Mexico, published in 1965, and Venetian Architecture of the Early Renaissance, published posthumously in 1980, as well as articles by McAndrew (and articles about his writing). Series IV. Lectures, teaching and research papers (1935-1979) includes scripts and notes for lectures and speeches given by McAndrew, as well as art history lectures given by colleagues, and course materials from the Wellesley College Art Department and the Graduate School of Fine Arts, New York University. Series V. Correspondence (1933-1981) includes a mix of personal and profession correspondence of John McAndrew and of his wife, Betty Bartlett McAndrew. Correspondence also appears in other series where the subject is a better fit. Series VI. Photographs and drawings (circa 1906-2009) includes a sub-series of photographs (some with negatives) and reproductions of art and architectural drawings, primarily of Venice, Italy (1971-1977), and a sub-series of personal photographs of the McAndrews and their families (circa 1906-2009).


  • circa 1906-2009 (bulk 1936-1984)


Language of Materials

Predominantly English. Also includes Italian, French, German, and Spanish.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research, but contains some material which has been restricted as per the Wellesley College Archives Access Policy: To make an appointment to view unrestricted materials, please contact the Archives staff by email at or by phone at (781) 283-3745.

Conditions Governing Use

The Wellesley College Archives welcomes researchers to use materials in the public domain, to make fair use of copyrighted materials as defined by copyright law, and to request permission to use works whose copyright is held by Wellesley College. All materials from the Archives, regardless of copyright status, should be attributed to the Wellesley College Archives, Library and Technology Services when cited, quoted, or reproduced.

Biographical / Historical

John McAndrew was born in 1904 in New York. He attended Harvard University, receiving his BS, magna cum laude, in 1924, and his Master of Architecture degree in 1941. After graduating, he worked in an architecture firm for years, and studied architecture in Mexico and Europe. From 1932 to 1937 McAndrew taught architectural history at Vassar College. Circa 1936-1937 he also lectured on modern architecture at NYU's School of Fine Arts. From 1937 to 1941 McAndrew was the Curator of the Department of Architecture and Industrial Art at the Museum of Modern Art in New York; he later designed the museum's sculpture garden. During World War II he served as coordinator of Latin American affairs in Mexico. In 1945 he joined the Wellesley College Art Department, and from 1947-1957 he was the Director of the Wellesley College Art Museum. In 1951, he married Betty Amory Bartlett.

He retired from the Art Department in 1968. From the early 1960s, McAndrew was studying the art and architecture of Venice, Italy, a project which lasted the rest of his life. He took academic leaves and summers in Venice, and after his retirement he and Betty lived in Venice half the year, and in Boston, MA, the other half. In 1970 McAndrew founded the Venice Committee of the International Fund for Monuments in response to damage from flooding in 1966, neglect, development, and tourism. In 1971 this committee officially became the charitable organization called Save Venice, Inc., with the mission to preserve the city's art and architecture. He published 4 books: A New House by Frank Lloyd Wright (1937), Guide to Modern Architecture (1940), and Open-Air Churches of Sixteenth-Century Mexico (1965), and Venetian Architecture of the Early Renaissance (1980). McAndrew's final book was published two years after his death in 1978, through the efforts of his wife Betty Bartlett McAndrew and his colleagues.

McAndrew also held offices in the learned societies of his field, including as a Trustee to the American Laboratory School of Design, as a member of the Architecture Committee of the Museum of Modern Art and the Art Committee of the Instituto Mexicano-Americano de Relaciones Culturales.


17 Linear Feet (35 boxes)


The personal and professional papers of John McAndrew, a former Professor of Art and Director of the (then Farnsworth, now Davis) Art Museum at Wellesley College, includes drafts and publications of his scholarly writings on architecture, his photographs and correspondence, biographical and memorial documents, and records related to his work for Save Venice Inc., the organization he founded to preserve the artistic heritage of Venice, Italy.


Collection is physically maintained in original order. Archivist has rehoused materials to improve preservation. Collection is intellectually arranged into six series: Series I. Biographical and memorial records (1912-2009), Series II. Save Venice records (1966-2001), Series III. Academic writings (1938-1986), Series IV. Lectures, teaching, and research papers (1935-1979), Series V. Correspondence (1933-1981), and Series VI. Photographs and drawings, (circa 1906-2009).

Related Materials

See also the records of the Art Department and of the Museum.

A duplicate set of the notes and bibliography on Venetian Architecture are located at the Correr Library in Venice. 2000 photos of Venetian monuments relating to the 16th century were given to the acting Superintendent of Monuments, Mario Piana, Venice. McAndrew's books on Venice were given to the Ateneo in Venice.

McAndrew's photographs of open-air churches in 16th century Mexico were given to the University of Texas at Austin.
McAndrew, John, 1904-1978. John McAndrew papers, 1906-2009: a guide
Natalia Gutierrez-Jones, Processing Archivist
2019 June 17
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Wellesley College Archives Repository