DEEDS james edward

1908 . springfield . missouri . usa

1987 . ?

Forcibly committed by his father when he was seventeen years old after a violent altercation with his brother, James Edward Deeds spent his whole life in a psychiatric hospital, undergoing weekly ECT treatments without anesthesia. The drawings that he created, usually on the back of the paper bearing the letterhead of the hospital are women and stylish men with wide eyes and dilated pupils, references to the Civil War, cars, landscapes and animals. In total, one hundred forty drawings which he bound together to form a book. They were found in 1970 in a bin by a teenager who kept them for nearly forty years before selling them. As the word ECTLECTRC appeared on several drawings, the new owners named the author “Electric Pencil,” until they realized that ECT was the acronym for electroconvulsive therapy and identified their author. This book, a testimony of life, was unfortunately destroyed.