January 3, 1918 -
December 6, 1997
Marcel Breuer, examiner
Paintings by Andrews
In 1940 Richard Lloyd Andrews was among Black Mountain’s first four
graduates in art. His examiner was Marcel Breuer. Since the college was
not accredited, he received a certificate of graduation instead of a
Andrews spent his childhold in Great Neck, Long Island. His father,
treasurer of the Turner Construction Company, commuted to New York. His
mother, an artist, studied with Howard Pyle. When the time came to select
a college, Andrews chose Black Mountain because it was one of the few
schools where a male student could study the fine arts within the context
of a liberal arts curriculum. His mother’s sister Constance Warren,
President of Sarah Lawrence College, undoubtedly influenced his decision
to attend a progressive school.
At Black Mountain Andrews took courses in the liberal arts with an
emphasis on literature and the visual arts. He took Josef Albers’s courses
in color and design and studied weaving with Anni Albers. In 1938-39 he
taught art at the Black Mountain public school, grades one though six.
Andrews was fascinated by the old narrow-gauge railroad tracks that ran
through the forested mountains, and he and fellow student Fred Stone
traveled throughout the area searching for the tracks which he recorded in
drawings in notebooks.
Although Andrews would have liked to have flown fighter planes in World
War II, his six-foot-four-inch height exceeded the limits. Instead he
served as an Air Force photo reconnaissance specialist in Africa and
After the war, Andrews studied for two years at the Art Students’ League
with Vaclav Vytlacil and Morris Kantor and then with Hans Hofmann on
Eighth Street. From 1946-1962, he taught art at the New Canaan School in
New Canaan, Connecticut (grades three through nine). He then was Chairman
of the Art Department at the Scarborough School in Scarborough, New York
(grades one through twelve). He also taught at St. Basil’s Academy (Greek
Orthodox) and then at the Harvey School until his retirement. He wrote of
his teaching, “I work with young people of ages six through eighteen in a
very broad spectrum of areas; we make constructions and do ceramics; we
work in woods and metals; we have, on occasion, constructed powered
vehicles and boat hulls of some size.” One influence of Albers’s teaching,
he recalled, was his recognition of the importance of drawing in the art
curriculum. A photographer himself, he also taught photography.
Besides his interest in narrow gauge railroads, Andrews was a devotee of
water sports. In Ossining he designed and built his own ice boats and
later sailed Whistling Wind, a skeeter first built in 1938 by Ted Meade.
He sailed with the Westchester Ice Sailing Club of Croton Point (Andrews
was featured in an article on ice boating in the December 19, 1982 issue
of the New York Times Magazine). In addition, he designed and built
a catamaran and a trimaran. Andrews later recognized the influence of his
mother who was a fine draftsperson and of Josef Albers from whom he
learned a respect for all aspects of design and craftsmanship.
In addition to building boats, Andrews built quarter-inch scale two-foot
gauge model railroad layouts, and the engines and cars to run them. He
knew all the two-foot railroads of Maine and was engineering chairman of
the National Model Railroad Association. For twenty years he wrote a
column for the Narrow Gauge Gazette.
Throughout his life Andrews continued to paint, primarily landscape. He
observed that “If I learned one thing from Josef Albers, it might be to do
your own thing with equanimity when almost everyone else is doing other
things.” His work was exhibited in New York City and in Croton-on-Hudson
where he lived.
In 1942 Andrews married Mary Fisher, whom he had met in Waterford, Maine
when he was nineteen and she, fourteen. Andrews vacationed summers at the
Warren Farm in North Waterford, Maine. Mary Fisher’s family had a summer
house nearby. Her step-father Willis Fisher, taught English at Sarah
Lawrence, and her mother, also Mary Fisher, taught Child Study. Constance
Warren had encouraged faculty to buy the old houses in the Waterford area.
In the spring of 1939, Mary Fisher visited Andrews at Robert E. Lee Hall.
She returned that summer to work at the Lake Eden Inn “as waitress and
chambermaid.” They reared three children: Judith, head of Adult Education
in S..A.D. 17 and Buckfield; Joseph C. (deceased), and Sarah, a detective
After his retirement in 1987, Andrews moved with his wife Mary to North
Waterford, Maine where he had a summer home. There he enjoyed ten years of
retirement before his death in 1997.