Skip Navigation

Jubilee

Leon Polk Smith

Contemporary Art

Leon Polk Smith was born in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) a century ago. After receiving a Masters in Art Education at Columbia University in 1938, he had his first one-person exhibition in 1941. Since then his work has been featured in countless exhibitions worldwide.

An admirer of the abstract paintings of Piet Mondrian, Smith decided early in his career to dispense with the recognizable object as part of his paintings. In the mid-1940s he began painting abstract compositions based on the relationships of basic geometric elements, which he gradually reduced to a minimum.

Jubilee, one of Smith's late works, is an extreme example of this economy of means. The four lines seem to move across the canvas, suggesting spatial relationships and depth of field. The painting illustrates well a statement of the artist's creative principles that he wrote in 1961: "Three elements which interested me in art are line, color, and the concept of space and its use as a positive force."

MEDIUM Acrylic on canvas
DATES 1992
DIMENSIONS 90 x 52 in. (228.6 x 132.1 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Contemporary Art
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
ACCESSION NUMBER 2011.12.10
CREDIT LINE Bequest of Leon Polk Smith
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 copyright@brooklynmuseum.org.
CAPTION Leon Polk Smith (American, 1906-1996). Jubilee, 1992. Acrylic on canvas, 90 x 52 in. (228.6 x 132.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of Leon Polk Smith, 2011.12.10. © artist or artist's estate
IMAGE overall, 2011.12.10_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"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.
RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (82%)
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.