Untitled (Woman with Red Fish)
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Nellie Mae Rowe, American, 1900–1982
Crayon and pencil on paper
18 x 24 inches
Gift of Andy Nasisse for the Nasisse Collection
A frequent character in Nellie Mae Rowe’s art is a large, bright fish. As a devout Christian, Rowe often illustrated her lifelong walk with the Lord and considered art making an act of prayer. Fish often symbolize the Christian faith as well as fertility and female sexuality. In this drawing of a fish in a fantastical sea, a female figure swims below at a distance, exemplifying reverence. Rowe was never able to have children, so this drawing may also serve as a reference to her reproductive struggles.