Fine Art/oil painting


Dear Stuart,
Thank you ahead of time.   I saw a question that was sent to an expert named Dolly, she is unable to recieve questions and I have an oil painting that someone else asked her about. My oil painting is aprox. 68"x48". It is framed and has a paper backing with a label from ArtCrest Gallery in Chicago IL. I am unable to read the artist signiture. The oil is named Rainbow Trail. There are horses runing on a dusty trail with a colorful sky. I believe Dolly tolded the other lady the painting was by Rico Tomaso who I know was born in Chicago in 1898. I can't find any information about my oil if you could help I would appreciate it.

There is a business in Chicago, a manufacturer of window blinds, that has this ArtCrest name. It is entirely possible that at one time they owned your picture as part of a corporate art collection (displayed in the executive offices, front lobby, etc.)  You might give them a call to see if this were the case.

ArtCrest Products Co Inc
500 W Cermak Rd
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 733-7117‎

You did not send along a photo of your painting, and I have to side with Dolly Headley, who is a bonafide pro here on the AllExperts website.  If she says Tomaso, all I can do is agree.  Certainly, Tomaso is a listed artist who executed paintings of this large size.  Below is a biography of Tomaso which you no doubt already have.

Someone named Susan posted on an internet art site in 2007 that she had a "Rainbow Trail" depicting Wild Horses.  I can find no record of such a painting turning over at auction.  Typically, his works sell for under $2,000, with three exceptions ... the record price at about $6,000.  

I hope you enjoy this painting!

An illustrator, Rico Tomaso was known for his illustration of mystery novels and exotic adventure stories and also for his teaching abilities.  Many of his illustrations were for The Saturday Evening Post, including the Albert Richard Wetjen stories about the Mounted Police of South Australia.  Another client was the Granger Pipe Tobacco company, for whom he did full portrait illustrations.

As a young man, he played piano with a small dance orchestra, and future illustrator, Dean Cornwell, was the drummer.  It has been written that Tomaso's "work mostly resembled Cornwell's in concept and broad brush style." (253)

Tomaso's family friend, John T. McCutcheon, cartoonist for the Chicago Tribune, encouraged his talent.  He also studied at the Art Institute of Chicago with J. Wellington Reynolds and later at the Art Students League in New York with teachers including Cornwell, Robert Henri and Harvey Dunn.

Tomaso taught at the Grand Central Art School, taking the classes of Harvey Dunn when the School class was moved to Mamaroneck, New York.

Walt Reed, "Rico Tomaso", The Illustrator in America, 1860-2000, p. 253  

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Stuart Cartwright


American Fine Art Paintings.
Oils, Watercolors, Sketches. Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century. Hudson River School, Pennsylvania Academy, Cape Ann artists, Ash Can, Woodstock, Florida Indian River, American Impressionists, etc. I can provide some background about artists and perhaps a rough appraisal or guidance towards obtaining a value. I am acquainted with many of the best American art dealers and auction houses. Original works only, I do not follow the print market. I do NOT field questions about prints.

Important to know
I am not expert in European art. I encourage you to send questions on European artists to other experts on this service. NO PRINTS:I encourage you to seek help on prints elsewhere. Two sites come to mind: and


I have been collecting original American Fine Art for over 20 years. I have curated art shows, and I have served as a dealer, providing appraisals and guidance for the last 8 years.

Bachelor of Arts Master of Business Administration

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