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By the end of her life, the self-taught artist Nellie Mae Rowe (1900–1982) had been widely recognized for her unique artistic practice, finding both institutional and commercial success for her drawings and sculptures made from all manner of household materials. But a new exhibition at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta is the Georgia-born artist’s first major exhibition in 20 years.
After it closes at the High in January, “Really Free: The Radical Art of Nellie Mae Rowe” will embark on a national tour with the Art Bridges Foundation through 2024. The exhibition is drawn largely from the museum’s deep holdings of the artist’s work, including a 130-piece gift from the dealer Judith Alexander, who was the first in the art world to champion Rowe.
Published October 8, 2021