Met Custom Prints

Nellie Mae Rowe

Empty Chair, 1981

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Harlem Renaissance
Discover works from the groundbreaking exhibition The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism, which explores the comprehensive and far-reaching ways in which Black artists portrayed everyday modern life.

About the Artwork

Empty Chair, 1981. Nellie Mae Rowe. Graphite, crayon, and pastel on paper. Gift of Souls Grown Deep Foundation from the William S. Arnett Collection, 2014. © 2022 Nellie Mae Rowe / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.The artist reflects on her own mortality in Empty Chair. A female figure in a matching red hat and shirt, a surrogate for the painter, gazes upon a younger version of herself that hovers over an empty chair suggesting absence and loss. The older incarnation turns away from a Tree of Life flanked by a peaceful menagerie. Rowe’s complicated symbolic language frees her drawings from any fixed meaning or singular interpretation, allowing the viewer to meditate on the narrative and metaphorical possibilities embedded within each piece.

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About Our Prints

Met Custom Prints offers exclusive custom reproductions of artworks in The Met collection. Thanks to gallery-quality materials, we create prints as true to the original work as possible, using strict color management protocols and state-of-the-art printing technology.
This is the only place you’ll find reproductions approved by The Metropolitan Museum of Art. We are continually adding new artworks to our offering, so be sure to check back regularly as you build your own gallery. A variety of molding styles means our custom framed prints can match any type of decor.

Member Discounts

Met Members will receive their 15% discount for all Met Custom Prints purchases. If you are Member, when you check out enter your member ID and the last name associated with your membership; once your Membership has been validated, your discount will be applied. Member discounts cannot be combined with other offers.