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CSU Archives

Pasaquan Collection (MC 327)

 

Biographical Note

     According to to the site's website, Pasaquan is a 7-acre compound near Buena Vista, Georgia, created by an eccentric folk artist named Eddie Owens Martin (July 4, 1908-April, 1986), who called himself St. EOM.  An internationally renowned art site, it consists of six major structures including a redesigned 1885 farmhouse, painted concrete sculptures, and 4 acres of painted masonry concrete walls.  In September 2008, Pasaquan was accepted for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
     Martin inherited the land from his mother and, using proceeds earned from fortune-telling and other sources, transformed the house and its surrounding land.  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."
     At his death, the site was maintained by the Marion County Historical Society.  Later the Pasaquan Preservation Society assumed responsibility for the site until it passed to the Kohler Foundation which undertook a major restoration and stabilization project on the site.  In 2015, after the completion of the Foundation's work, the Pasaquan property, including all works of art by Martin, and his papers were deeded to the Columbus State University Foundation.

Scope and Content

     The textual material and the works of art on paper comprise 3 boxes and several drawers of flat files.  Besides his sketchbooks and loose drawings, there are letters, receipts, notes, postcards and other items relating to Eddie O. Martin, or St. EOM as he styled himself.  The Pasaquan textual materials are divided into four series; Correspondence, Financial Records, Publications and Audio/Visual.
     Correspondence deals with his art and its exhibition and sale, as well as family and personal matters.  Included here are letters to his brother Joe, a note from first lady Rosalyn Carter about an exhibit of Martin's art in Washington in 1978, 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, including medical bills, prescriptions and his organ donor card.  There are also letters concerning photographs and slides of his house, grounds and artwork.  In most cases the images are not with the letters but are probably among the slides and photos in the Audio/Visual Series of MC 368 – Pasaquan Preservation Society.  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, the processor decided to include them in the Correspondence series since Martin developed a personal relationship with the vendors there.
     Publications includes newspaper clippings, telephone directories, magazine articles and similar materials.
     The Audio/Visual series consists of cassette tapes of Martin singing, chanting, playing musical instruments and interviews with him.
     The records of the Pasaquan Preservation Society, including minutes, visitors books, financial records, photographs, slide 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).

1920s-1980s                                                              3 box (3 l.f.)

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

Provenance

Gift of the Kohler Foundation to the Columbus State University Foundation in 2015.

Note to Researchers

See also:
Kohler Foundation, Inc. Pasaquan Preservation Project

Pasaquan Preservation Society Oral History Interviews, MC 340

Pasaquan Preservation Society (MC368)

St. EOM's Pasaquan website

Box and Folder

Series 1 – Personal Material

Box 1

Folder 1 – Funeral Book of Lydia Pearl Martin, April 17, 1950

Folder 2 – Correspondence, 1957, 1961-1969

Folder 3 – Correspondence, 1970-1976

Folder 4 – Correspondence, 1977

Folder 5 – Correspondence, 1978-1979

Folder 6 – Correspondence, 1980-1982

Folder 7 – Correspondence, 1983-1984
     There is genealogical information on the Martin family enclosed with a letter from Ann Croom dated November 14, 1984.

Folder 8 – Correspondence, 1985-April, 1986

Folder 9 – Correspondence-Brown, Jimmy, 1964-1984
     Jimmy Brown was a friend from New York, who later lived in and around St. Louis. He addressed Martin as "La Contessa".

Folder 10 – Correspondence – Finster, Howard, 1977
     This folder includes a note from Penny Rodgers dated May 30, 2012 telling Annie [?] about finding the material from Finster to Eddie O. Martin.

Folder 11 – Correspondence – Jargon Society, 1977-1984
     This folder contains letters, mostly on letterhead from the Jargon Society, from either Jonathan Williams or Tom Patterson.

Folder 12 – Correspondence-Martin, Joseph (Brother), 1978-1983

Folder 13 – Correspondence, poetry, writings, etc. I, nd

Folder 14– Correspondence, poetry, writings, etc., II nd

Folder 15 – Junk Mail, coupons, catalogs, etc., nd

Folder 16 – Medical Issues, 1976-1980s
     Among his other medical bills, etc. is his organ donor card of June, 1979.

Folder 17 – Names and address, nd
     This folder contains many names and telephone numbers, some with addresses, most on small scraps of paper. None of them is dated.

Folder 18 – Notebook/appointment book, 1940s

Folder 19 – Pack lists, nd
     This folder contains 8 envelopes containing slips of paper with descriptions of art works, taped together. It is assumed that these are packing lists for an exhibit of Eddie O. Martin's works, but which one is not known.

Folder 20 -- Interviews, 1980s

Series 2 – Eddie O. Martin/St. EOM Financial Records

Folder 1 – 1929-1932

Folder 2 – 1940-1941, 1949-1952

Folder 3 – 1953-1959

Folder 4 – 1960-1964

Folder 5 – 1971-1979

Folder 6 – 1980-1986 & nd

Folder 7 – Bank Records, 1950-1955, 1970, 1980

Box 2

Series 3 – Publications

     These materials were found among Eddie O. Martin's things. Some of them are clippings he made of stories about himself, some of exhibition catalogs, some have no obvious relevance to him, but may have served as inspirations for his art.

Folder 1 – Newspaper Clippings and Articles, 1972-1987, nd

Folder 2 – Magazines and Catalogs, 1972-1978

Folder 3 – Magazines and Catalogs, 1983-1987

Folder 4 – Manuals, 1970s-1980
     These are for tools and appliances, presumably owned by Eddie O. Martin.

Folder 5 – Telephone Directories, 1973, 1975, 1978
     These three directories have doodles, sketches and notes by Eddie O. Martin on their covers.

Folder 6 – Book, 1959
     This is a copy of Reader's Digest, Vol. 4, Fall, 1959 with notes and sketches by Eddie O. Martin.

Box 3 – Series 3 (cont.) and Series 4 – Audio/Visual Material

Series 3 (Cont.) – Oversized material

Folder 1 – Life Magazine, April 4, 1955

Folder 2 – Life Magazine, June 13, 1955

Folder 3 – Life Magazine, December 31, 1971

Series 4 – Audio/Visual Material
    

     These 37 cassette tapes contain sound recordings of Eddie O. Martin.  They are in a cassette box within Box 3.  Many have two labels, one on the case and one on the cassette itself.  Many of the cassette labels are very difficult to read, either because of the handwriting or fading or both.  If there are two labels, both are listed, with the case label first and the cassette title second, separated by a bar ( / ).  They are labeled as follows:

#1 – Interview with Eddie (Amanda Russ)

# 2 – Eddie on NPR W/Paul Brown 1987 / NPR Emily Kolb

#3 – Eddie "Preaching"/ Eddie Dec. 6

#4 – Conversation w/Eddie w/Music & Chanting / Vilma (?) – Chants & interview

#5 – Eddie's lyrical Poetry (?)

#6 – Eddie w/Students Singing Chanting / Students from Mercer

#7 – Eddie Music Chanting Music / V/Artist & GS/List good chd first G5 gd/43X (Processor's note: this is a very garbled label)

#8 – Eddie w/Students Drums Chanting / St. EOM in 1982

#9 – Conversation w/Eddie Instrumental Singing Chanting

# 10 – Eddie's Personal Chants – broken but Functional / LD & DAS 7 Chant with soul sounds

#11 – Eddie Lyrical/chating (sic) Music Songs

#12 – Eddie's Live Music / [Illegible label on cassette]
#13 – Eddie's Live Music Guitar / Girl

#14 – Meditation and Conversation 2.Eddie / Em B&T

#15 – Eddie Singing / Gold S Pri & Wal song Go I Want & hebr 50g (Processor's note – this label is very garbled)

#16 – Eddies Live Bives Music / ST EOM suggous Tommhe) Emerald (Processor's note – this label is very garbled)

#17 – Eddie Chanting w/O'Bryan / Start: O/Bryan Session Approx 40 min

#18 – Eddie Chanting /9 Hdrien TR Wgsdogn Kudos Liful 9 (Processor's note – this label is very garbled)

#19 – Eddie Chanting & Music

#20 – Eddie Chanting / blues on the dell, on up the line, Nummome (/) 8 Chn to N.Y. Side (2) Nummodos 8

#21 – Eddie Talking / Message

#22 – Eddie Singing and Chanting

#23 – Eddie's Music Lesson (Flute) / Rdliru2i CLAP Songs Sun in the Sky Man

#24 – Eddie Singing / Ode to Rev Chant intoungs forures Pled

#25 – Eddie Chanting / good for top natg 3 3-11-78 Chanting

#26 – Eddie's Music

#27 – Live Recording of Eddie's Music

#28 – Eddie's Songs / Four Songs Laxe St. Jung 18 Chant with Drum Clullo 5

#29 – Live Recording of Eddie's Music

#30 – Eddie "Drum Circle" 4/11/75 / Ellitine Roge this side Eddie Martin Chanting 4/11/75

#31 – Eddie's songs instrumental / Chanting in Regalia Students Feb 15

#32 – Eddie singing & "preaching" / Tent Session June 19 Songs

#33 – Eddie Playing Guitar

#34 – Eddie's live Music percussion

#35 – Eddie Chanting w/Students / Eddie with students

#36 – Live Music "Drum Circle" / Mercer Gang April 26th I Will Drums Mercer

#37 – Eddie Drums/Chanting

(Processor's note: There are two empty cases at the end to prevent the other cassettes from shifting)

Photos

Photos, slides, negatives, etc. relating to Pasaquan both before and after the death of Eddie O. Martin where mixed together and are filed in MC 368 – Pasaquan Preservation Society-Audio/Visual Materials.