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Rix Mills Remembered

The Folk Artistry of Paul W. Patton

Paul Patton

196 pages
The Kent State University Press

An Ohio folk artist’s affectionate recollection of his boyhood in the Appalachian foothills

Paul W. Patton was reared in Rix Mills, Ohio, a small village in Muskingum County surrounded by family farms and criss-crossed by gravel roads. In the first half of the 20th century, families here used coal-oil and gas lamps, carried drinking water from wells, and warmed their houses with pot-bellied stoves. Children walked to one-room schoolhouses and worked in the fields from May to September. On a trip back in 1985, Patton discovered that strip-minming had reached Rix Mills, the village in which he grew up with his five brothers and sisters and their widowed mother. Stunned by the decimated landscape, he began to paint and recreate the Rix Mills he remembered.

Rix Mills Remembered presents 100 of the more than 500 paintings by this highly regarded folk artist. With nostalgic affection, Patton describes the scenes he painted, recalling on canvas the sorghum mill, the blacksmith shop, the school, the general store, the church, and the life he shared with his family in the 1920s and 1930s. The paintings and narratives in this collection will be a welcome celebration of the State of Ohio.

Author Bio
Paul W. Patton was a self-taught Ohio folk artist who painted from memory. He was a B-17 bomber pilot in World War II, an educational television administrator in Indiana, and a retired elementary school principal in Bedford, Ohio. Prior to his death in 1999, he was affectionately known as "Grandpa Moses" for his charming paintings of rural Ohio. His work is carried by galleries in Ohio and New York City and is owned by many private collectors.