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

Untitled (Wrestler)

Folk and Self-Taught Art
Drawing of a front-facing bearded figure outlined in black, wearing bright yellow shorts that get shorter toward the outside of the leg, against a light, sunny background. The figure is bare-chested and wears an ornate belt accented with blue dots.

Search and Share Tools

Untitled (Wrestler)

Artwork Details


Nellie Mae Rowe
American, 1900–1982




Crayon, colored pencil, and pencil on paper

Accession #



Please contact the Museum for more information.


Currently Not on View


Nellie Mae Rowe was a dedicated fan of the wrestler Claude “Thunderbolt” Patterson and drew him multiple times. She tuned in regularly to watch him triumph in the ring, one of the rare spaces where an African American man was able to physically contend with opponents without fear of retribution. In 1976, for instance, Patterson vanquished the white wrestler, Frank Donald Goodish, a.k.a “Bruiser Brody,” to win the NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship. Patterson fought for fair pay and better working conditions for black athletes, a cause that ultimately damaged his career. Today Patterson lives in Georgia and says that one of the only reasons people seek him out is because Rowe’s drawings have kept his legacy alive.


Gift of Andy Nasisse for the Nasisse Collection

Image Copyright

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