Amos Langdown was born on 7 May 1930, in Plettenberg Bay. He was involved for many years in art education. In his career he maintained a balance between his own practice as an artist and his passion for teaching. He became a schools inspector and taught at the Hewat Training College in Cape Town and later at the Dower Training College in Port Elizabeth.
Langdown’s first solo exhibitions led to him being awarded grants by the Government and the Cape Tercentenary Foundation to study abroad. At this time he was already studying part-time at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, UCT. The influence and guidance of Katrine Harries (1914–1918) is discernible in his work, which always has a firm basis in sound drawing, composition and a graphic quality that is particularly evident in his lithographs.
Although influenced by the great French cartoonist, lithographer and draughtsman Honora Daumier (1808–1879), Langdown’s own social commentary on the life of the communities on the Cape Flats was invariably infused with a sympathetic insight and sentiment. This is clearly seen in his somewhat formulaic oil paintings of grouped figures. Langdown was also a poet in his own right, and lent his skills to illustrating the published writings of such literary personalities as Alba Bouwer, Pieter Grobbelaar and the poet P.J. Philander who recently died in the USA. He died in Overbaakens, Port Elizabeth, 1 February 2006.
South African History Online. (2016). Amos Langdown. [online] Available at: http://www.sahistory.org.za/people/amos-langdown [Accessed 16 Feb. 2018].