"Asian Wedding"   Lot no. 762

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By Rico Tomaso 1898-1985

34.75" x 29.25"
Oil on Canvas
Signed Upper Right



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As a young man, Rico Tomaso played piano in a small dance orchestra, wearing heavy, black woolen gloves as his trademark (but also to be able to hit harder on the keys to compete with the drummer). The drummer was Dean Cornwell, then just starting his illustration career.

   Tomaso was encouraged in his art ambitions by a family friend, John T. McCutcheon, the famous cartoonist for the Chicago Tribune. He studied at the Chicago Art Institute under J. Wellington Reynolds. Later on, other teachers were Cornwell, Harvey Dunn, and Robert Henri. His work mostly resembled Cornwell’s in concept and broad brush style. Tomaso was at his best illustrating mystery stories or those of high adventure in exotic locations, for example, the Albert Richard Wetjen stories of the South Australian Mounted Police for The Saturday Evening Post. He was also known for a series of vigorous, full-color portrait illustrations for Granger Pipe Tobacco.

   For some year after the Grand Central School of Art was dispossessed from Grand Central Terminal, Tomaso carried on Harvey Dunn’s illustration class in Mamaroneck, NY. He also painted for exhibition, was represented by the Grand Central Art Galleries and by Jean Bohne, Inc. in New York.