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Flower Sniffer

Emma Amos

Contemporary Art

In this self-portrait, Emma Amos holds a small bouquet and gazes out from the frame, perhaps into the circular portal of a mirror or directly at the viewer. The sensitive attention to color, interlocking geometric planes, and suggestion of a flowery aroma express the simple joys found in life’s ordinary moments. Amos conveys a sense of sanctuary and self-determinacy that echoes her own commitment to painting, despite the discrimination she encountered throughout her career. “For me, a Black woman artist,” she said, “to walk into the studio is a political act.”
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
DATES 1966
DIMENSIONS 50 × 50 in. (127 × 127 cm) frame: 51 × 51 × 1 7/8 in. (129.5 × 129.5 × 4.8 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Signed top right recto
COLLECTIONS Contemporary Art
CREDIT LINE William K. Jacobs, Jr. Fund
PROVENANCE By 2017, acquired from the artist by Ryan Lee Gallery, New York, NY; December 19, 2017, purchased from Ryan Lee Gallery by the Brooklyn Museum.
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MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Emma Amos (American, 1937–2020). Flower Sniffer, 1966. Oil on canvas, 50 × 50 in. (127 × 127 cm). Brooklyn Museum, William K. Jacobs, Jr. Fund, 2017.35. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2017.35_PS22.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 2017.35_PS22.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2024
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RIGHTS STATEMENT © artist or artist's estate
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Emma Amos (American, 1937–2020). <em>Flower Sniffer</em>, 1966. Oil on canvas, 50 × 50 in. (127 × 127 cm). Brooklyn Museum, William K. Jacobs, Jr. Fund, 2017.35. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2017.35_PS22.jpg)