Henry Matthews Architectural Historian

Henry Matthews Architectural Historian

Temple of Athena, Assos with Lesbos across the Aegean

Passion: Art, Architecture and Travel

I grew up in England where, even as a teenager, I developed a passion for art, architecture and travel.

While I was studying architecture at Cambridge in the late 1950s, I drove with two companions across Europe to Greece. In those days the classical sites were open: we could enjoy them alone at sunset and sleep among the ruins. We spent inspiring nights in Agamemnon’s throne room at Mycenae, beside the sacred way at Delphi, among fallen columns of Olympia and in the remote Temple of Apollo at Bassae. These experiences of landscape, sacred architecture, myth and history laid the foundation of my career in architectural history.

As a professor, nothing pleased me more than to share the excitement I felt with my audience. It was natural for me to write books for scholars, students, travelers, and the general public in which I combined architectural principles with discussion of the historical and social context.