Crockett Johnson Homepage > Paintings by Crockett Johnson
During the last decade of his life (19651975), Crockett Johnson devoted his time to creating abstract geometrical paintings, all of them based on mathematical theorems. According to his article "On the Mathematics of Geometry in My Abstract Paintings" (1972), Johnson began this work in 1961 "upon belatedly discovering aesthetic values in the Pythagorean right triangle and Euclidian geometry" (97). In all, he painted over 100 canvases, eighty of which are held by the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History, Division of Information Technology and Society. Of the remaining paintings, some are privately held and others have been lost.

Division of a OnebyTwo Rectangle by Conic Rectangles  Similar Triangles  Transcendental Curve  Heptagon from Its Seven Sides  Squared Circle  A Construction for the Heptagon  Relativity of Time and Space  Right Triangle, Golden Rectangle and Pythagorean Star  Problem of Delos  Fraction of Pi (to .0000003...) in a Square of One  Projections of Aligned Triangles  Square Divided by Conic Rectangles
Below, you'll find a few of Johnson's paintings; for a more complete bibliographic listing, see the "Art" section of the Bibliography. To see a larger image of most paintings below, please click on them. Excepting Division of a OnebyTwo Rectangle by Conic Rectangles, Projections of Aligned Triangles, and Square Divided by Conic Rectangles, all photos on this page were taken by Philip Nel. Thanks to J. B. Stroud for identifying the titles of Transcendental Curve (Wallis), Problem of Delos (Meneachmus), and Fraction of Pi (to .0000003...) in a Square of One (Tsu Chung Chih). To see images of all eighty paintings held by the Smithsonian, click on the relevant words in this sentence.

12 x 23 1/2 in. (excluding frame).




In December of 1999, I noticed the above two at The Modhaus ("an online gallery of unique furnishings and decorative artifacts from the 1950s1970s"). I had linked to both paintings (Projections of Aligned Triangles and Square Divided by Conic Rectangles ); however, since both are no longer visible at the Modhaus site, you can instead see them above.

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Last updated September 8, 2010 .