back bounded-next cafe calendar-large calendar cart close coat-check collapse donate download elevators expand explore filter grid-view hamburger heart hours join link list-view location mail more next nursing-room phone print programs ramp restrooms right-arrow search share shop thumbs-down thumbs-up tickets up toilet heart-filled zoom Skip to Content

Spring Vegetable Scene

Folk and Self-Taught Art

Search and Share Tools

Spring Vegetable Scene

Artwork Details


Mattie Lou O'Kelley
American, 1908–1997




Oil on canvas

Accession #



17 3/8 x 23 inches


On View - Stent Family Wing, Skyway, Gallery 407


A native of North Georgia, Mattie Lou O’Kelley began painting when she was forty-seven. Twenty years later, in 1975, her Spring Vegetable Scene became the first artwork by a living self-taught artist to enter the High’s collection. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Robert Bishop, later director of the Museum of American Folk Art, saw this unknown artist’s work in Atlanta and helped launch her career.

Featuring brilliant color and strong technical control, her works provide highly detailed, intricately designed depictions of her own experiences of a dying way of life. From the eye-bending checkered tablecloth to the ripened peas visible through their pods to the shadowy eyes of the potatoes, this work demonstrates O’Kelley’s talent for color and detail.



Image Copyright

(c) High Museum of Art