Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Jewelry by St. EOM, Georgia Folk Artist and Visionary

St. EOM, Courtesy of Pasaquan Preservation Society

   The Georgia Museum of Art is pleased to announce the acquisition of three bracelets and four necklaces by Georgia artist St. EOM (1908–1986), some of which are pictured below.
Born to a Georgia sharecropping family, he left his home to spend time in an artist’s colony in New York City during the 1920s before coming back down to Georgia and transforming the farm in Marion County that he inherited from his mother into a colorful compound called Pasaquan. Claiming to receive messages and visions from people from the future, he refused to go by his birth name, Eddie Owens Martin, instead going by the moniker “St. EOM,” as he felt it more accurately depicted him as the prophet and visionary that he saw himself as. He created Pasaquan in order to show the intersection of the past, present and future as a seamless whole, combining the visual art from many different cultures, such as patterns from ancient Greece, architectural forms from East Asia and statues inspired by ancient Mayan art. Visitors to Pasaquan are frequently overwhelmed by vibrant color and seemingly endless variety on display throughout the compound.

Sadly, St. EOM died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 1986, but his legacy is now preserved by the Pasaquan Preservation Foundation and by the Kohler Foundation, who are now restoring Pasaquan to its original glory.

St. EOM’s jewelry that the Georgia Museum of Art recently acquired also displays the same love for vibrant color and the use of motifs from many cultures.
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