Rootie Tootie

Emma Amos (American, b. 1938)
circa 1959
Etching and aquatint
Sheet : 11 5/8 x 22 1/4 in. (29.53 x 56.52 cm)
Credit Line
Hope College Collection
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The term “rootie tootie” refers to an early style of jazz music and was used by jazz pianist Thelonious Monk in the title of his 1952 composition Little Rootie Tootie. This abstract print, which is meant to evoke the often spontaneous, improvisational nature of jazz, is a rare early work by Emma Amos, the only female member of Spiral, an important African American artists’ group that was active in New York City during the mid-1960s. Originally from Atlanta, Amos studied at Antioch College in Ohio, the Central School of Art and Design in London, and New York University in New York City. She is highly regarded as a painter, printmaker and textile designer, and enjoyed a long career teaching at the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts and later at Rutgers University.    

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