Plans for Panels in New Upper: 1865


This drawing, created by John Gregory Wiggins in 1922, shows his original concept design for the 1865 Form plaque. In a letter from the St. Paul’s School archives collection dated October 19, 1922, written by then Rector Samuel Smith Drury, this sketch is mentioned:

My dear Greg:

I have received your two letters dated October 11th and 14th, and with the latter the very attractive sketches for the years ’59 to ’67. I shall try to show these later to some of the trustees during the week.

The letter mentioned as accompanying the sketches is not in the archives collection. The sketches for the nine plaque designs for the Forms of 1859 through 1867 were discovered in the archives in a separate folder accompanied by an undated typed note:

Copy / Sketches of medallions for the forms in the New Upper, 1922. They were the work of Gregory Wiggins, SPS faculty 1912-1916. He was one of the greatest of wood carvers in this country. The years 1861 to 1865 cover the Civil War. Fort Sumpter (sic) is represented in 1861 and the assasination (sic) of President Lincoln in 1865. Gregory Wiggins completed all the medallions in the dining room. He also did a great deal of carving in the New Chapel.

This sketch was done at 1/4 scale, and is drawn in pencil on light brown heavyweight drawing paper, similar to the type of paper used with pastels. It is one section of a larger drawing that was cut into eight pieces after the original drawing was completed. There are notes in pencil in the margin of the drawing pertaining to changes to the design that were realized in the finished carving. Color is added to the drawing using a watercolor type of medium, with an opaque gold metallic paint on the date and border portions of the drawing. This use of color reflects Wiggins’ original plan to add color and gilt to the finish of the completed carving rather than the dark walnut colored stain that was actually used.


Click on the thumbnail on the left to view a photograph of the finished carving, completed by J. Gregory Wiggins between November of 1922 and May of 1923.

Click HERE to see the other concept designs.


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Wiggins, John Gregory. 1922. "Plans for Panels in New Upper: 1865." St. Paul's School. Ohrstrom Library Digital Archives. Web. 13 July 2024.