Really Free: The Radical Art of Nellie Mae Rowe


Really Free: The Radical Art of Nellie Mae Rowe


Untitled (DeMura Shoebox Collage)

Flattened shoebox with ornate purple, green, and yellow-green paisley pattern; three color pictures of interior of artist’s home, one of artist inside home, and one of home exterior.

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Object Details


Nellie Mae Rowe, American, 1900–1982


before 1978


Color photographs on flattened shoebox


18 1/2 x 13 inches


Gift of Judith Alexander

Accession #


Image Copyright

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


Rowe used a flattened shoebox as the backdrop for a display of casual snapshots that an unidentified visitor took of the decorated interior and exterior of her home, which she called her Playhouse. The shoebox’s design sets off the visual of the patterned textiles and objects that Rowe, seen in the middle-left image, spread and hung throughout her space. In the bottom-left photograph, two of her sculptures made from chewing gum are visible, including a mustachioed cat much like Untitled (Chewing-Gum Sculpture) on view here.