Skip Navigation


Manierre Dawson

American Art

Manierre Dawson's education in civil engineering contributed to his early experiments with abstract visual language. Well versed in mathematics and trained to design two-dimensional plans that would translate into three-dimensional objects, Dawson here seems to use imaginary mathematical symbols (suggested by the title of the painting and by the grid of lines and the series of contained shapes) to arrive at a form of pure abstraction. Xdx is one of a series of small paintings executed by Dawson in 1910 that are probably the first completely abstract works created by an American artist.

MEDIUM Oil on paperboard attached to particleboard
DATES 1910
DIMENSIONS 19 1/8 x 14 7/16 in. (48.6 x 36.7 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Initialled lower center: "M.D."; dated lower left: " '10 "
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Purchased with funds given by an anonymous donor and Dick S. Ramsay Fund
RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Works created by United States and non-United States nationals published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, subject to the terms of any applicable treaty or agreement.

You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this work. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact (charges apply).

The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to the work. 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.

The Brooklyn Museum makes no representations or warranties with respect to the application or terms of any international agreement governing copyright protection in the United States for works created by foreign nationals.

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
CAPTION Manierre Dawson (American, 1887-1969). Xdx, 1910. Oil on paperboard attached to particleboard, 19 1/8 x 14 7/16 in. (48.6 x 36.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased with funds given by an anonymous donor and Dick S. Ramsay Fund, 88.122
IMAGE overall, CUR.88.122.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.
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.