Really Free: The Radical Art of Nellie Mae Rowe


Really Free: The Radical Art of Nellie Mae Rowe


Untitled (Fish on Spools)

Wooden sculpture of fish with straight, flat bottom and smooth, sloped top painted red and black with yellow and blue dots; two short pillars attach fish to blue base.

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Object Details


Nellie Mae Rowe, American, 1900–1982




Wood, plastic, and acrylic paint


7 1/2 x 25 x 1 1/2 inches


Purchase with funds from the Georgia Designer Craftsmen

Accession #


Image Copyright

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


Untitled (Fish on Spools) and Untitled (Feeding the Two-Headed Rooster) were among the twenty-five works by Nellie Mae Rowe the Corcoran Gallery of Art included in its 1982 exhibition Black Folk Art in America, 1930–1980. Rowe was one of only three women represented in this exhibition, which was the first to survey the extraordinary contributions of African American self-taught artists, especially those living in the South. Rowe lived just long enough to know about the sensation that Black Folk Art caused as it traveled to six major American cities.