Emma Amos (b.1938), a painter, printmaker, and weaver was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. At age sixteen, after attending segregated public schools in Atlanta, she entered the five-year program at Antioch University in Yellow Springs, Ohio. She spent her fourth year abroad at the London Central School of Art, studying printmaking, painting, and weaving. After receiving a BA from Antioch, she returned to the Central School to earn a diploma in etching in 1959. She received her MA in 1966 from New York University. While at NYU she was invited to become part of SPIRAL, a group of black artists that included Romare Bearden and Charles Alston. She was the youngest member of that group and the only female, and although she was grateful to be included, she later remarked upon her solo female status within the group by saying, "I thought it was fishy that the group had not asked Vivian Browne, Betty Blayton, Faith Ringgold, Norma Morgan, or any other woman of their acquaintance to join. I was probably less threatening to their egos, as I was not yet of much consequence." (from Creating Their Own Image, 2005, Lisa Farrington.)
She was married and raised two children. While her family was young she focused on textile arts such as quilting, weaving and sewing. In 1980 she began teaching at Rutgers University, receiving tenure in 1992 and continuing to teach there until her retirement from academia in 2008. She has received many honors and fellowships, including the Pollock-Krasner Grant and a Yaddo Artist Residency. Her work is in the collection of the Library of Congress (USA), the National Gallery of Art (USA) and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, as well as numerous other public and private collections world-wide. She maintains an active studio practice and is represented by Flomenhaft Gallery in NYC.