The subject of Amos’s print refers to the 1934 Cole Porter song “Miss Otis Regrets,” which recounts the story of a young woman who, after being seduced and then spurned, tracks down and shoots her former lover in a rage. Following her arrest, she is taken from jail by a mob and lynched. The narrator conveys the final, polite apology of the once proper Miss Otis to her friends: “Miss Otis regrets she’s unable to lunch today.”
Emma Amos was born in Atlanta, GA. She earned a BA from Antioch College, OH; a diploma from the Central School of Art and Design (now Central Saint Martin’s College of Arts and Design), London; and an MFA from New York University.
Amos was the youngest and only female member of the Spiral group founded by Romare Bearden and other African American artists (1963-1965). She taught at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, from 1980 to 2008, serving as department chair from 2005 to 2007. She served on the Board of Governors of Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, ME, and was a member of the National Academy of Design, New York City.
Amos’ work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York City; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT; Philadelphia Museum of Art; New Jersey State Museum, Trenton; and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, among others.
—From Brandywine Workshop and Archives records
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