Really Free: The Radical Art of Nellie Mae Rowe


Really Free: The Radical Art of Nellie Mae Rowe


My house is Clean Enought to Be healty and it dirty Enought to Be happy

A large blue, red, and orange rooster faces a humanlike figure holding a yellow box; several creatures and plants surround them; text above reads “My house is Clean enough to Be healthy and it dirty Enough to Be happy.”

Zoom and Share Buttons

Object Details


Nellie Mae Rowe, American, 1900–1982




Crayon and pencil on paper


18 x 24 inches


Gift of Judith Alexander

Accession #


Image Copyright

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


“I kept house long enough, I don’t want to be bothered by nobody ’cept self,” was how Rowe put her decision not to marry for a third time nor to seek further employment as a domestic worker. She got a kick out of household goods that cleverly and joyfully articulated the easing of domestic duties, like a napkin she saw at her niece’s that bore the phrase that is the title of this work.