Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Art and Design

First Advisor

Susan Richmond

Second Advisor

John Decker

Third Advisor

Maria Gindhart


During the early twentieth century, a growing trend among Americans was to collect and display “oriental” objects from the American Southwest and Asia in museums and the domestic interior, often as an escape from American culture. Vernacular Notions of Reverie: St. EOM’s Pasaquan as Utopia explores the impact of the “Oriental Aesthetic” in American material culture on the works of St. EOM, born Eddie Owens Martin (1908-1986). EOM emulates outsider cultures at Pasaquan, his seven-acre art environment in Buena Vista, Georgia. I argue that as EOM created Pasaquan, he was also creating his own utopia in order to escape the Western environment he grew up in and rejected. Evidence for this argument includes his writings, sketches, a scrapbook, which contains numerous photographs from National Geographic Magazine, and interviews with Tom Patterson, an author who spent time with the artist in the last year of his life.