An Inventory of His Papers at the Harry Ransom Center
Wayne Andrews was born on September 5, 1913, in Kenilworth, Illinois. As a teenager he attended the Lawrenceville School, a preparatory boarding school near Princeton, New Jersey. Andrews' early interests included the French language and culture, and through frequent travels to Paris he made the acquaintance of several leaders of the burgeoning Surrealist movement. In 1930, at the age of seventeen, Andrews and Lawrenceville classmate James Douglas Peck co-founded a mimeographed journal of French culture (written in French) called La revue de l'élite. The journal went through several iterations and titles (La revue de l'élite, La revue intime, and Demain) while maintaining an essentially similar format and nearly identical content and themes. Andrews and Peck sent copies of the periodical to the writers, artists, and critics who inspired them, to a mixed but largely positive reception.
Andrews graduated from Harvard College in 1936 and subsequently worked as a banker and then as Curator of Manuscripts for the New York Historical Society. In 1956 he earned a PhD in art history from Columbia University. During his time at Harvard and Columbia Andrews wrote Surrealist prose which was later collected in two volumes, Pianos of Sympathy (1936) and Who Has Been Tampering with These Pianos? (1948), both published under the pseudonym Montagu O'Reilly. Upon graduation from Columbia Andrews began work as an editor at Charles Scribner's Sons, and in 1963 wrote a biography entitled Germaine: A Portrait of Madame de Stael.
In 1964 Andrews accepted a position created expressly for him as the Archives of American Art Professor at Wayne State University in Detroit. In this portion of his life Andrews became known as a prolific architectural historian and photographer, and wrote extensively on the topic. In earlier works such as Architecture, Ambition, and Americans: A Social History of American Architecture (1955, revised ed. 1978) and Architecture in America: A Photographic History from the Colonial Period to the Present (1960, revised ed. 1979) Andrews provided introductions to national architecture, while later publications centered around regional United States architecture.
Andrews' interest in European culture remained active during this period with his continued publication of social and cultural histories and biographies, such as Siegfried's Curse: The German Journey from Nietzsche to Hesse (1972) and Voltaire (1981). Andrews' final book, The Surrealist Parade, presents a "cunningly brief and amusingly opinionated personal history of Surrealism," (Richard Burgin, New York Times Book Review, 1990), the bulk of which is focused around Andrews' acquaintance and friend, Surrealist leader André Breton. Andrews died of a heart attack at the age of seventy-three on August 17, 1987, while travelling in Paris. He lived permanently with his wife Elizabeth and daughter Elizabeth (Lisa) Waties in Chicago and had nearly completed his work on The Surrealist Parade. Though the manuscript was only "nine tenths" finished, according to publisher James Laughlin, The Surrealist Parade was published by New Directions in 1988.
The Wayne Andrews Papers are composed principally of his notes, research materials, and typescripts for The Surrealist Parade, published by New Directions in 1988. Also included are Andrews' early mimeographed periodicals dating between 1930 and 1932, as well as related personal correspondence from notable Surrealist figures, 1930-1939. The papers are arranged in two series: I. The Surrealist Parade (3 boxes) and II. Periodicals and Related Correspondence (1 box).
Series I. makes up the bulk of the collection and contains typescripts and working files for The Surrealist Parade. The original order of the materials has been retained: typescripts are divided by chapter and the working files (including his notes, clippings, and letters on Surrealist figures and topics) are organized alphabetically. Andrews' notes additionally contain materials related to a course he offered on Surrealism at Wayne State University in the late 1970s and early 1980s (folder 2.4). As Andrews had not completed work on The Surrealist Parade at the time of his death in 1987 and had not yet written the book's bibliography, his daughter, Elizabeth W. Andrews, provided New Directions with the notebook filled with bibliographic information that her father had kept, a photocopy of which is present (folder 3.8).
Series II. contains Andrews' three mimeographed periodicals organized by title: La revue de l'élite, La revue intime, and Demain. The series additionally contains the bulk of Andrews' correspondence dating between 1930 and 1939, organized alphabetically by correspondent. This correspondence relates almost entirely to the aforementioned mimeographed periodicals, and contains letters and postcards from notable French, British, and American writers and thinkers, including André Breton, Jean Cocteau, W. Somerset Maugham, Ezra Pound, Bertrand Russell, Paul Valéry and William Carlos Williams, among others. All correspondents, including others scattered elsewhere in Series I., are listed in the following Index of Correspondents in this guide.
Open for research. Part or all of this collection is housed off-site and may require up to three business days notice for access in the Ransom Center’s Reading and Viewing Room. Please contact the Center before requesting this material: firstname.lastname@example.org
Purchase and gift, 1991 (R14290, G8975)
Jesse Cordes Selbin, 2008; Betsy Nitsch, 2012