Columbus State University Archives

Pasaquan Collection (MC 327)

Identifier

MC 327

Title

Pasaquan Collection (MC 327)

Description

Pasaquan is an internationally renowned art environment located in Buena Vista, Georgia, some thirty miles southeast of Columbus. It is situated on seven acres of gently rolling property and is comprised of six buildings encircled and interconnected by nearly four acres of masonry walls. Buildings and structures at Pasaquan are characterized by highly idiosyncratic construction methods and decorative motifs, largely executed in masonry bas-relief which has been painted in a wildly colourful palette.

Pasaquan is the passionate life's work of an eccentric artist named Eddie Owens Martin (July 4, 1908- April 16, 1986) who later adopted the moniker of St. EOM. Over the course of some thirty years, in various campaigns and with what materials were available to him, St. EOM transformed a small, rural farmhouse he inherited from his mother into a rambling estate resplendently decorated with motifs and forms representing his visionary ideal. In an article on the outsider artist, Tom Patterson describes Pasaquan as "one of the most remarkable folk art environments in America – a sort of mock pre-Columbian psychedelic wonderland of brightly painted totems, curved and angled walls and walkways, and wildly ornamented structures that [Martin] called "temples" and "pagodas."

The site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008. A complete restoration of the site was completed by the Kohler Foundation in 2016. The site is currently under the stewardship of Columbus State University and the Columbus State University Foundation.

The Pasaquan Collection is comprised of a rich variety of resources regarding not only St. EOM's creation of Pasaquan, but also the thirty year-long preservation effort of various groups and individuals (most notably the Pasaquan Preservation Society) and the recent restoration completed by the Kohler Foundation. These materials are divided into sections based upon type and subject matter.

Textual resources are divided into two sections: Correspondence and Financial Records. Correspondence relates largely to St. EOM's art exhibition and sales, as well as his family and personal matters. Included here are letters to his brother Joe, a note from Rosalyn Carter about an 1978 exhibit of St. EOM's art in Washington, D.C., and letters from people seeking his fortune-telling expertise and bestowal of luck in various situations. There is a separate folder for his medical issues. There are also letters concerning films, photographs and slides of his house, grounds and artwork. In most cases the images are not with the letters but are probably among the loose films, slides and photos. Martin and many of his correspondents were erratic in the use of dates. In general the correspondence is in chronological order. If an undated letter is with an envelope, and the postmark is legible, that date is written on the letter in brackets and is used for filing. Undated material is grouped without order at the end of the series. Envelopes without contents are filed by postmark.

Financial records include routine bills such as utility bills; auto repairs; purchases at Sears; bills for mail-order purchases of supplies for his art; bills of sale for his crops to Tom's Peanuts; cotton factors and other buyers; insurance coverage and property tax payments. In the case of bills from the Blessing Oil Company of Brooklyn, which supplied him with the oils used in various rituals he performed as part of his fortune-telling practice, a decision was made to include them in the Correspondence since Martin developed a personal relationship with the vendors there.

The records of the Pasaquan Preservation Society, including minutes, visitors books, financial records and other materials documenting their 20 year existence as the managers of the site and its contents, are treated as a separate collection (MC 368).

Date

1920s - 1980s

Creator

Eddie Owens Martin (St. EOM)

Extent

1 box (1 l.f.)

Is Referenced By

https://archives.columbusstate.edu/findingaids/mc327.php

Rights

Permission to Publish

Permission to publish material from the Pasaquan Collection (MC 327) must be obtained from the Columbus State University Archives at Columbus State University. Use of the following credit line for publication or exhibit is required:

Pasaquan Collection (MC 327)
Columbus State University Archives
Columbus, Georgia

Items in the Pasaquan Collection (MC 327) Collection

"Untitled"
Woman with red bow and blue shirt set within an interior bedroom scene. Nails protrude from all four outward edges.

Untitled
Abstracted landscape with multiple, superimposed figures. Framed and matted. Previous exhibition label on reverse.

MC327.A.P.0002

Untitled
Landscape with cabin in lower left foreground, trees in the fore and background, and a possible sunset in the distance.

Untitled
Portrait of mustached man with seated woman in the background. Two paintings are visible in the background, as is a landscape through a window.

Untitled
Portrait of young man in a room with a window or painting in the background.

Untitled
Still life of seven yellow flowers in a dark, red-violet vase with chair, interior, and landscape in the background.

Untitled
Still life of a pot or vase decorated with a facial motif, three faces in the background.

Untitled
Portrait of posed female, standing on a red and white checkered floor, before a scalloped archway, with a landscape in the background.

Untitled
Night scene landscape with three buildings, two figures, and a dog.

Untitled
Abstract floral pattern with a blue and white diamond pattern most central and a variant white oval in the bottom right corner.

Untitled
Landscape with two figures beside a house in the foreground, with a yellow house, trees, and a red sun in the background.

Untitled
Portrait of a male, primarily in red, black, and yellow.

Untitled
Exterior cooking scene with male and female figures, two buildings, two pots, and two earthen jars. Painting is torn along upper, left frame.

Untitled
Beach scene with sunbathing figure. Painting is torn in upper left corner.

Untitled
Two partial faces on a black field with a symbolic candle holder, decorated with an eye inset into a geometric pattern, between them.

Untitled
Circular portrait with earrings, one red, one white. The number "78" appears on the reverse, written in pencil.

Untitled
Portrait of a full male figure within a structure, back-lit by an archway behind. A landscape is visible in the background, through the archway which is flanked by two large jars.

Untitled
Night scene of Gypsy wagons with two figures: one female, full, standing, and centrally located, the other partial, playing a guitar. Additional figure lightly visible on the reverse.

Untitled
Portrait of black man wearing cap, landscape in background which includes a red sun, cabin, and barn.

Untitled
Portrait of a man, possibly an inmate, with a red face on a blue background.

Social Bookmarking