Empty Chair

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    Photo: Stephen Pitkin/Pitkin Studio
Pencil, crayon, pastel, on paper
18 x 23.75 inches
Collection of
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Gift of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation

In Empty Chair, the adult Nellie Mae Rowe, dressed in red, turns away from a celebratory tree of life surrounded by birds and animals. She looks toward death, summed up as her past and future: above the empty chair is the specter of young Nellie Mae in the green pasture, flanked by two nose-diving birds. Below the tree of life, a bird plucks the berries from a potted plant or fruit basket.