Painting - Morley Triangle

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the American cartoonist Crockett Johnson created a series of paintings on mathematical subjects. This oil painting, #74 in the series, dates from 1969 and is signed "CJ69." It is based on a theorem in plane geometry proved by the English-born mathematician Frank Morley (1860–1937). Morley emigrated to the United States and taught at Haverford College and Johns Hopkins University.
The painting illustrates his best-known result. It shows lines that divide the three angles of the large triangle into three equal parts. Lines coming from different vertices of the triangle meet in points. The triangle formed by joining the intersections of the trisectors, which lie nearest to the three sides of the triangle, is shown in white in the painting. According to Morley's theorem, this is an equilateral triangle.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
Johnson, Crockett
overall: 61 cm x 64.3 cm x 3.5 cm; 24 in x 25 5/16 in x 1 3/8 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Science & Mathematics
Crockett Johnson
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Crockett Johnson
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Ruth Krauss in memory of Crockett Johnson

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