Really Free: The Radical Art of Nellie Mae Rowe


Really Free: The Radical Art of Nellie Mae Rowe


Happy Days

Several plants and animals are depicted in a black, cerulean blue, green, and red background; the bottom of the artwork says, “Happy Days” with an arrow pointing to the right.

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Object Details


Nellie Mae Rowe, American, 1900–1982




Crayon and pencil on paper


18 x 24 inches


T. Marshall Hahn Collection

Accession #


Image Copyright

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


Dogs appear frequently in Rowe’s drawings and are often interpreted symbolically, most commonly as an alter ego or a kind of spirit animal. Rowe did not own dogs, but she used stuffed animals and other novelty dogs frequently in her installations at the Playhouse. The blue dog in Happy Days is particularly reminiscent of a toy dog she hung from a tree that was captured by photographer Lucinda Bunnen.