Really Free: The Radical Art of Nellie Mae Rowe


Really Free: The Radical Art of Nellie Mae Rowe


God is Not Dead. You Just Do Your Best

Cursive handwriting in bright blue and lime green: “God is not dead you just do your best and he will do the rest Just try him he is all Right.”

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Object Details


Nellie Mae Rowe, American, 1900–1982




Crayon and pencil on paper


11 x 8 1/2 inches


Gift of Judith Alexander

Accession #


Image Copyright

© Estate of Nellie Mae Rowe/High Museum of Art, Atlanta.


Rowe frequently included text in her work, sometimes incorporating it as a carefully designed pictorial element and other times as a caption or narrative explaining the action in a scene. She often wrote messages of spiritual praise, especially because she believed her artistic talent came from God. In some of her drawings from 1982, the year she passed away, she used her writing to embed messages of farewell.