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Phil Patton Papers

About the Collection

Phil Patton (1952–2015) was a design and culture critic noted for the emphasis he placed on the significance of everyday objects, such as coffee cup lids and interstates, as well as his books on the UFO culture in Roswell and the impact of television on football. A significant portion of his writing is on automobile design—including a book on the history of the Volkswagen Beetle. He was also a faculty member in the SVA MA Design Research Department. The collection comprises notes and typescripts for books and articles, research materials, clippings and magazines containing articles by Patton, correspondence, and miscellaneous notes and notebooks.


Photograph of Phil Patton in desert landscape Phil Patton at Area 51
Book cover featuring VW Beetle knockout of sky and clouds Cover of book "Bug: The Strange Mutations of the World's Most Famous Automobile"
Various business cards for Phil Patton Phil Patton business cards
Cover of book featuring various "American" objects: commercial airplane, revolver, guitar, shaker rocking chair, airstream mobile home, cash register. Cover of book "Made in USA: The Secret Histories of the Things that Made America"
Letter to Phil Patton from Philip Guston Letter to Phil Patton from Philip Guston
Twelve different coffee cup lids I.D. Magazine photo of coffee cup lids from Patton's collection
Screenshot of NeXT operating system and logo NeXT promotional materials
Letter to Phil Patton from Freeman Dyson Letter to Phil Patton from Freeman Dyson