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Untitled (Purple Fish)

Folk and Self-Taught Art

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Untitled (Purple Fish)

Artwork Details


Nellie Mae Rowe
American, 1900–1982




Crayon, gouache, and pencil on paper

Accession #



27 1/2 x 32 3/4 inches


Currently Not on View


The fish was another commonly featured animal in the art of Nellie Mae Rowe. Rowe was a devout Christian, so the fish may symbolize her dedication as a follower of Christ. The fullness of Rowe’s fish might also refer to pregnancy and procreation, in accordance to the Mandé creation myth of southern Mali in which the ancient cosmos birthed twin fish. Although she had no children, she was very fond of them, and often called her handmade dolls her children.


Gift of Judith Alexander

Image Copyright

© Estate of Nellie Mae Rowe/High Museum of Art, Atlanta.