High Museum of Art

Atlanta, GA




The Art of Nellie Mae Rowe: Ninety-Nine and a Half Won't Do

November 20, 1999 - February 26, 2000


The exhibition, at the The High Museum of Art Folk Art and Photography Galleries, located at 133 Peachtree Street, at the corner of John Wesley Dobbs Avenue in downtown Atlanta, features over 90 works created by local self-taught artist Nellie Mae Rowe (1900-1982). Featured are colorful drawings and collages, mixed media sculptures, chewing gum figures, and hand-sewn dolls. As the first major, nationally traveling museum exhibition to explore the full range of Rowe's talents, this show traces her development as an artist beginning in the 1940's. (left: Peace, 1978, crayon and pen on paper, Private collection)

Rowe, born in Fayetteville, Georgia, lived the last 50 years of her life in Vinings. After her second husband's death in 1948, she devoted most of her time to art. Her highly detailed and vividly colored drawings include pictures of herself, friends, barnyard animals and local personalities. Some of these drawings contain old adages and anecdotes, which reflect Rowe's sense of humor as well as her abiding religious faith. (right: Cow Jump Over the Mone, 1978, crayon, colored pencil and pen on paper, Museum of American Folk Art, New York, Gift of Judith Alexander)

The Art of Nellie Mae Rowe: Ninety-Nine and a Half Won't Do is organized by the Museum of American Folk Art, New York. The exhibition and catalog are made possible with the generous support of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Judith Rothschild Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the LEF Foundation. In Atlanta, generous support is provided by the Friends of Nellie Mae Rowe.

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