Goodyear was the very first curator ever hired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Goodyear developed a theory that medieval churches throughout Europe displayed curved lines, concave walls, widening naves and other asymmetries, that were not accidental phenomena created by settling stone or poor construction, but the original architects’ deliberate inventions. Goodyear called these deviations “architectural refinements.”
For almost twenty years, between the years 1895 and 1914, Goodyear conducted survey expeditions to Europe, Turkey, Egypt and Greece visiting medieval cathedrals, churches, and mosques, meticulously noting the measurements of piers, transepts, apses, etc. and taking numerous photographs of these details thoroughly documenting the occurrences of the refinements. The photographs taken during his expeditions became rare and invaluable records of medieval churches and cathedrals before the world wars, when most of these precious works of art were destroyed.
Goodyear believed the role of art for humankind development and growth is impossible to overestimate.