Untitled (Playhouse and Cross)
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Nellie Mae Rowe, American, 1900–1982
Crayon and pencil on cardboard
13 x 9 inches
Gift of Judith Alexander
(c) Estate of Nellie Mae Rowe/High Museum of Art, Atlanta
The population of Vinings was in the hundreds when Rowe moved to it around 1930, following her nephew Joe Brown Sr., who had already relocated there. They were part of a small settlement of Black families that relied on a segregated school, two churches, and a cemetery. Her second husband, Henry Rowe, is buried in that cemetery, which was just up a hill from her home. In this early drawing of her Playhouse, she celebrates the cemetery’s proximity and holy presence through the crucifix and radiating floral form in the sky.