Untitled (Atlanta’s Missing Children, Figure with Headdress)
Zoom and Share Buttons
Nellie Mae Rowe, American, 1900–1982
Crayon, gouache, pen, and pencil on paper
24 x 28 inches
Gift of Judith Alexander
(c) Estate of Nellie Mae Rowe/High Museum of Art, Atlanta
Rowe’s connection with childhood and her longing for children of her own might have played a role in her decision to depict the Atlanta Child Murders—a series of abductions and violent attacks of nearly thirty people (most of them Black children or adolescents) that took place between 1979 and 1981 in Atlanta. As opposed to visually depicting these murders, Rowe addressed the violence in code, using animals and indeterminate vignettes. The figure in the center of the drawing menacingly pulling back a trench-coat-like cape like a flasher may be a more direct reference to the sexual abuse that many of the victims suffered.