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G. William Patten papers

Collection MS-2003-042: G. William Patten papers


  • Creation: 1920 - 1986

Scope and Contents

The G. William Patten papers contain artwork, architectural drawings, blueprints, correspondence, exhibition catalogs, clippings, notes, photographs, publications, sketchbooks, writings, and speeches documenting Patten’s career as a monument designer and artist. Patten designed war memorials, headstones, and advertising materials for the funerary monument company Cook, Watkins, and Patch, and his sketches, product sheets, and pamphlets for them form a large part of this collection. There are also a substantial number of architectural drawings for the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C., for which Patten designed statuary and carvings in several chapels as a subcontractor to Lualdi, Inc. Patten designed furnishings for other chapels for Lualdi, including the Boston College High School chapel, detailed by photographs and drawings in the papers.

Patten’s commercial artworks include lettering, engineering schematics, and product illustrations. Of particular interest is his work for Vought Corporation aircraft company during World War II, which consists of engineering schematics, sketches, prints, and pamphlets for the Corsair fighter aircraft. In addition to his commissioned work as a monument designer and commercial artist, Patten created personal artwork, including pen and ink and pencil sketches, watercolor paintings, oil pastel portraits, and etchings. These range from early student works (exercises and copies of famous artworks) to later original pieces. Architecture, Boston and its environs, and life drawing are the subjects best represented. A large bound sketchbook contains artworks of many various subjects from all phases of Patten’s life, and also includes clippings and examples of his professional work.

Patten had a strong interest in iconography and symbolism and kept a series of notebooks on those topics. In addition, there are subject files consisting of clippings and reference images, mostly on religious art. A small amount of biographical material in the subject files includes clippings, an exhibition catalog, and educational certificates. In the mid-1970s, Patten took several trips to Egypt with his second wife, Susan, and materials on Egypt and the trips are also found in the subject files. Correspondence in the collection is brief and mainly relates to Patten’s correspondence courses in art. There are a small number of architectural reference photographs and photographs of Patten’s acquaintances.


Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research.

Restrictions on use

Copyright interests have not been transferred to Boston College.

Biographical / Historical

G. (Glancy) William Patten (1907-1986) was a Boston-area monument designer and artist. He began his artistic education while still a high school student with classes at the Boston Museum of Art, and continued via correspondence courses with the Federal School of Commercial Designing and formal instruction at the Massachusetts School of Art, the Boston Architectural Club, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Harvard University. In 1924, he went to work for the funerary monument company Cook, Watkins, and Patch as an office boy and was quickly promoted to the art department, where he remained until his retirement in the 1970s. During World War II, Patten was employed at the Chance-Vought Aircraft plant in Stratford, Connecticut, where he worked in the experimental laboratory drawing engineering schematics for the Corsair fighter aircraft. He later did architectural work for the Cambridge, Massachusetts, firm of Louis Lualdi, Inc., an ecclesiastical furnishings company, and it was in this capacity in the 1970s that he designed statuary and carvings for the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. Patten also provided lettering, commercial art, architectural renderings, and engineering schematics on a piecework basis for various companies in the Boston area. He was professionally active, often publishing and speaking about monuments, symbolism, iconography, and the art of ancient Egypt. He served as the art editor of the trade journal American Art in Stone and was involved with several professional monument design organizations, including the Monument Institute of America.


Bureau of the Census. 1930 Census of Population and Housing. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1931. (accessed August 17, 2012).

"G. William Patten: Master Designer." American Art in Stone.


37.75 Linear Feet (33 containers)

Language of Materials



The G. William Patten papers contain the professional and personal papers of Boston monument designer and artist G. William Patten (1907-1986). They include artwork, architectural drawings, blueprints, correspondence, clippings, exhibition catalogs, notes, photographs, publications, sketchbooks, and writings. The majority of the materials relate to Patten’s memorial design work, including designs he did for the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C. There are also some materials from Patten’s WWII career as a draftsman for Vought Corporation working on the Corsair fighter aircraft. The papers date from 1920-1986.


This collection is arranged alphabetically in nine series: I. Artwork; II. Clippings and programs; III. Commercial art, lettering, and schematics; IV. Correspondence; V. Iconography and symbolism notes; VI. Monument design; VII. Photographs; VIII. Subject files; and IX. Writings and speeches.

Series I. Artwork is divided into seven subseries: A. Animals and people; B. Boston area; C. Buildings; D. Landscape and seascapes; E. Machines; F. Sketchbook; and G. Student work. Series III. Commercial art is divided into five subseries: A. Callaway Associates; B. Donald Gillespie Associates; C. General; D. Kenyon C. Bolton III and Associates; and E. Vought Corporation. Series VI. Monument Design is divided into four subseries: A. American Art in Stone; B. Cook, Watkins, and Patch; C. Other memorial organizations; and D. Louis Lualdi, Inc. Subseries D is divided into two sub-subseries: i. General projects and ii. National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.


Deposited by Susan Patten, 1986.

Processing Information

Earlier description of these papers incorrectly listed Patten's first name as George rather than Glancy.

G. William Patten Papers
Stephanie Bennett, Alexandra Bisio, and Adrienne Pruitt
September 2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2024 April: Additional architectural drawings for the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception added.

Repository Details

Part of the John J. Burns Library Repository

John J. Burns Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill MA 02467 United States