Untitled (Atlanta’s Missing Children, Orange Rat)
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Nellie Mae Rowe, American, 1900–1982
Crayon and pencil on board
25 1/2 x 20 1/2 inches
Gift of Judith Alexander
(c) Estate of Nellie Mae Rowe/High Museum of Art, Atlanta
Nellie Mae Rowe depicted the void left by the nearly 30 children who went missing in Atlanta between 1979 and 1981, a crisis that was recently revisited by the popular true crime podcast Atlanta Monster. She represented them through absence, depicting a garden that seems incomplete without children playing in it, and a lonely dog who mourns their absence. In the roughly shaded spots between the flowers, tiny figures appear faintly, embodying her hope that some of the children might still be found alive.