Really Free: The Radical Art of Nellie Mae Rowe


Really Free: The Radical Art of Nellie Mae Rowe


Untitled (Woman in Hat with Urn)

Drawing of a smiling woman with yellow skin, wearing a pink, green, and blue blouse and beret, looking left toward a red and green-leafed plant.

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Object Details


Nellie Mae Rowe, American, 1900–1982




Marker, colored pencil, and pen on paper


11 x 8 inches


Gift of Judith Alexander

Accession #


Image Copyright

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


Though Nellie Mae Rowe is known predominantly for her vibrant works on paper, her “Playhouse” in Vinings, Georgia, was a notable local landmark from the early 1970s until her death in 1982. Here, a well dressed woman appears to be admiring the grounds of Rowe’s property, with the colorful home in the background. While Rowe often portrayed distinctive skin tones, she also employed a fluid, technicolor spectrum when fashioning her subjects— showing that all were welcome to her home regardless of race or social class.