Really Free: The Radical Art of Nellie Mae Rowe

 

Really Free: The Radical Art of Nellie Mae Rowe

 

Untitled (Woman with Butterfly Wing)


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Object Details


Artist/Maker

Nellie Mae Rowe, American, 1900–1982

Date

1980

Medium

Crayon and marker on paper

Dimensions

16 x 20 inches

Credit

Gift of Judith Alexander

Accession #

2003.210

Image Copyright

(c) Estate of Nellie Mae Rowe/High Museum of Art, Atlanta

Description

In addition to depicting single feminine figures, Rowe also imaged the interactions between women. With her short haircut, made-up face, and coy expression, the woman in profile seems more mature, while the figure facing forward wears an outfit reminiscent of a school uniform. The singular butterfly wing that alights between them and the sensual form that appears to spray water on it suggest a bath or some kind of rite of passage involving beautification and self-care that may be making the young girl nervous.