Skip Navigation


Morgan Russell

American Art

Morgan Russell temporarily abandoned his color abstractions--which he called Synchromies--to paint representational subjects with greater market appeal. In 1922, however, he returned to the Synchromistic aesthetic, which he found emotionally and creatively invigorating. Abstraction bears a strong formal relation to a series of paintings he called Eidos, a term taken from the Greek word meaning "form." The illusion of spinning motion relates to Russell's plan to accompany his paintings with a kinetic light machine that would suggest the afterimage of fireworks. The signature along the horizontal is not in Russell's hand, and it is generally agreed that the painting should be oriented vertically.

MEDIUM Oil on canvas
DATES ca. 1922–1923
DIMENSIONS framed: 21 x 24 1/4 in. (53.3 x 61.6 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Anonymous gift
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Morgan Russell (American, 1886–1953). Abstraction, ca. 1922–1923. Oil on canvas, framed: 21 x 24 1/4 in. (53.3 x 61.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Anonymous gift, 56.2. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 56.2_SL4.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 56.2_SL4.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2014
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
RIGHTS STATEMENT © artist or artist's estate
Copyright for this work may be controlled by the artist, the artist's estate, or other rights holders. A more detailed analysis of its rights history may, however, place it in the public domain. The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act. For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.