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Kevin Andrews and the Castles of the Morea, AIA Ettinghausen Lecture

Glenn Bugh, Virginia Tech

Mon, 3/25 · 4:30 pm6:00 pm · 3-S-15 Green Hall

Archaeological Institute of America (AIA); Program in Archaeology

Roy Kevin Victor Andrews was born in Beijing on January 20, 1924, the nominal son of Roy Chapman Andrews, the celebrated American explorer, naturalist, and dinosaur hunter. Educated in England and New England, Kevin Andrews entered Harvard in 1941 and graduated with an A.B. in Classics and English Literature in 1947. He won the prestigious Charles Eliot Norton Fellowship to attend the American School of Classical Studies at Athens in 1947-48. At the end of the academic year, he secured a second-year fellowship to study an unpublished portfolio of early 18th century castle plans commissioned by a high official of the Venetian colonial empire in Greece, Francesco Grimani. This project kept Andrews in Greece until 1951. The finished work was published in 1953 as Castles of the Morea and won immediate praise as a minor classic. The publication of 1) Elizabeth Boleman-Herring’s Farewell to Ikaros (2006), a poignant memoir of Kevin Andrews’ last days before his tragic death from drowning off the coast of Kythera on Sept. 1, 1989; 2) a revised edition by G.R. Bugh of Castles of the Morea (2007); and 3) Roger Jinkinson’s biography American Ikaros: The Search for Kevin Andrews (2010) affords a fitting opportunity to revisit the career of Kevin Andrews, classicist, musician, polemicist, and philhellene as we approach the centennial anniversary of his birth.

Kevin Andrews defies categorization. He did not pursue what would have been a promising academic career in classics. By 1955 he had taken up permanent residence in Greece, and twenty years later, after the fall of the Junta (1967-1974), Andrews became a Greek citizen. During his residency he published what would be (and still is) viewed as his other classic, The Flight of Ikaros (1959), an autobiographical account of his travels around Greece during the final years of the Greek Civil War (1946-1949). Andrews’ diaries and research notes, so meticulously taken over four years as a student at the American School, yielded two important publications: 1) an academic study of medieval castles in the Peloponnese (Morea) and 2) an impressionistic encounter with contemporary Greek history. Through the lens of his Castles of the Morea and the Flight of Ikaros we will explore a selection of Venetian fortresses of the southern Greece and contextualize Kevin Andrews place in post-World War II Greece.

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