Really Free: The Radical Art of Nellie Mae Rowe


Really Free: The Radical Art of Nellie Mae Rowe


Untitled (Nellie and Judith’s Houses)

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Object Details


Nellie Mae Rowe, American, 1900–1982




Crayon, marker, and pencil on paper


18 1/2 x 23 1/2 inches


Gift of Judith Alexander

Accession #


Image Copyright

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


These conjoined houses signify how the destinies of Rowe and her gallerist Judith Alexander were mutually dependent. Alexander had been showing contemporary art for decades, but her close relationship with Rowe led her to become one of the South’s only gallerists dedicated to self-taught artists. The way these houses appear stitched together seemed to inspire the poetic words of Rowe’s great-grandniece Cheryl Mashack at Alexander’s 2005 funeral: “Some of our paths would have never crossed, but there was a plan and a purpose orchestrated from above and thus began the construction of a beautifully made quilt.”