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Untitled (Nellie Mae and Joe Looking into Heaven)

Folk and Self-Taught Art

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Untitled (Nellie Mae and Joe Looking into Heaven)

Artwork Details


Nellie Mae Rowe
American, 1900–1982




Crayon, colored pencil, and pencil on paper

Accession #



Please contact the Museum for more information.


Currently Out on Loan


Rowe depicts herself seated in a red chair with her nephew, Joe Brown Sr., who was the son of her older sister Minerva. Rowe settled in Vinings after Brown had begun to make a life there, and when her first husband died, she stayed with Brown and his family until she remarried. She pays tribute to their lifelong friendship through the warm colors of this work, which reflect the glow of a setting sun. A glimpse of heaven emanates from the western corner of the sky, beckoning with its flowering field and rising phoenix, a symbol of spiritual rebirth.


Bequest of Dr. Margaret Sommerville and Jim Sommerville

Image Copyright

© Estate of Nellie Mae Rowe/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.