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Edward Deeds spent most of his adult life, from 1936 until 1973, in the State Hospital No. 3, a mental hospital in Nevada. Sometime during those years he taught himself to draw. His mother brought him colored pencils and someone at the hospital gave him outdated ledger paper. Deeds' drawings reveal his rich and complex inner life, populated by Civil War soldiers, circus performers, baseball players and an enormous cast of characters who may have been based on family members and people he knew in the hospital and pictures from magazines. Deeds was also obsessed with buildings and machines and wild animals, particularly tigers and deer. In the 50s or 60s, he collected 283 of his drawings, bound them in a book he made himself and presented it to his brother and sister-in-law. In 1969, the book went missing. The family assumed it was lost forever -- but it was rescued from the Springfield dump by a teenage boy, who would keep the book for the next 40 years. In 2007, Harris Diamant, a sculptor and art dealer, purchased the collection and set about trying to solve the mystery of Edward Deeds and his world. Here are some of the drawings.
Read Aimee Levitt's feature on Edward Deeds and his drawings here.
To see the complete collection, visit Diamant's website.
Published on September 10, 2012