Really Free: The Radical Art of Nellie Mae Rowe


Really Free: The Radical Art of Nellie Mae Rowe


Untitled (Pig on Expressway)

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Object Details


Nellie Mae Rowe, American, 1900–1982




Crayon and colored pencil on paper


17 3/4 x 23 3/4 inches


Gift of Judith Alexander

Accession #


Image Copyright

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


In a colorful palette that eerily predicts the Google Maps display of Atlanta’s daily rainbow gridlock, a brown pig appears overwhelmed and immobilized by the sweeping curves of major roadways. Rowe’s interest in depicting busy roadways like this one underscores the upheaval that increasingly enfolded her community after the completion of I-285 in 1969. She nearly buries her social commentary in her bright colors and sweet pig character, but the work nonetheless offers a critique of gentrification that would disproportionately affect the Black population of Vinings, especially in the years following her death.