Lawrence Andrew Patterson Biography

Lawrence Andrew Patterson




Lawrence Andrew Patterson, printmaker, illustrator, and teacher, was born to Willard E. and Carrie (Caroline) Patterson on 24 March 1896 in Fresno, California. He attended Fresno High School where he created illustrations for the school’s publications. Patterson joined the United States Air Force in 1917 and served in France. In 1920, he was living again in the home of his parents in Fresno where he worked briefly as proof reader for the local newspaper. He moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where he studied for two years at the California School of Arts and Crafts in Berkeley (thought to be 1921 and 1922). Patterson was then enrolled for two years at the California School of Fine Arts (thought to be 1923 & 1924) where he studied with Ray Boynton.

In 1927, Patterson and his wife were living in Berkeley, California and he was working as an illustrator. He created full page illustrations and small vignettes for the 1926 edition of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam published by Johnck and Kibbee, San Francisco. The following year he created fifteen illustrations for the English version of Golden Tales of Anatole France published by Dodd, Mead & Company. Patterson also illustrated Harris Merton Lyons’ The Wind in the Lilacs published in 1929; Richard Middleton’s poem Queen Melanie and the Wood-Boy published in 1931; and Douglas S. Watson’s book West Wind —The Life story of Joseph Reddeford walker, Knight of the Golden Horseshoe published in 1934.

According to the 1930 US Census, Patterson was working as an assistant teacher at the California College of Arts and Crafts where he earned his BA degree in 1931. By 1932, Patterson was living in San Mateo, California where he taught art at the San Mateo Junior College (retiring in 1960). In January 1932, an exhibition of his book illustrations was mounted at the San Mateo Public Library. According to the California State Library Biographical Index Card of June 1932, Patterson had also lived briefly in New York and Mexico.

Lawrence Andrew Patterson signed up for service for World War II in 1942 and it appears that he served in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. He died in San Mateo, California on 3 November 1964 and is buried in a US Veteran’s Grave in the Golden Gate National Cemetery.

We are indebted to Bob Forrest for painfully culling through the many official documents and newspaper clippings to give an accurate biographical history to this overlooked but admired artist and for helping us to correct his middle name, often presented mistakenly as Anthony.