Remembering Jennie Tomao

In 1965, Jennie Tomao (then known as Gina) was one of the first artists to make prints with Kenneth Tyler at his newly established custom printing shop, Gemini Ltd., in Los Angeles California. Unfortunately very little has been published about Tomao, but recently her son Charles Lynn Bragg  kindly shared some memories of his mother and his father, fellow artist Charles Bragg:

Both my parents were professional artists, painters and print makers. My Mom painted with her heart and I think her best, most profound and inspiring paintings are her landscapes and trees. The majority of her paintings were sold without taking quality photos of them. Even I haven’t seen all of her work.

My parents met at New York High School of Fine Arts, a specialized school where they were both accepted on their early portfolios. They met, fell in love, eloped, married (Mom 16 and Dad 18 years old) and moved to Detroit, Michigan where my Dad had odd jobs. Two years later, I was born and then 16 months later, my sister Georgia came into the world. Then my parents decided to move to Los Angeles, California to dedicate themselves to making and teaching art. They opened a studio in Beverly Hills where they painted portraits, commissions and taught the young and old (and my Sister and I) painting.

My Dad’s career overshadowed my Mom’s, but she kept painting. He was always in the limelight and her work was in the background. Over the next several decades, they developed their craft, their styles and their message to the world. My Mother’s message was love, respect, awe and reverence for nature and people.

In her late 70s my Mom developed a surprising new look and style in her paintings. Trees were her favorite subjects and she painted dense groves of various trees on a large scale. These paintings were unlike anything she had ever done before. The large scale made a viewer feel like they could walk right into the painting.

– Charles Lynn Bragg, December 2017

See Jennie Tomao’s work in the Tyler Collection.

7 comments

  1. Carol

    Found a drawing in the garage sale of a young girl holding wildflowers. Signed Tomao the paper in frame has the numbers 34/200. Can you tell me anything about it.

  2. I have a nude oil painting that my mother -in-law told me was of Tomao painted for her husband, Charles Bragg. My mil had a gallery in Riverside Ca in the 60-70’s. Could you tell if this is authentic?

  3. Robert goulette

    I have two works of Jennie Tomao: a self-portrait when she was in her early to late twenties 8×10; large plain air California landscape 40×30. Both signed originals. Please contact me so I can get more information on her and an evaluation on these two pieces.

    • tylercollection

      Hi Robert,
      There is very little publicly available information on Jennie Tomao, which is why we sought out her son for his reflections on her life and work. I’m sure if you continue to investigate you may be able to find more information on her! Good luck 🙂
      Best,
      David (Kenneth Tyler Collection)

    • robert goulette

      Hi Kenneth, Do you have any idea how we can establish the value of our two pieces of Gina’s?

      Robert Goulette 714-325-0258

      >

      • tylercollection

        Hi Robert,
        David here – It is best to seek out an independent art valuation/appraisal service. Hope this helps 🙂

  4. deanna crocco

    I wanted to let Mr. Bragg know I have 2 beautiful original works by his lovely mom. I am downsizing my home & collection and have one, an amazing self portrait, for sale on eBay. If interested, and if you would like to see a picture of the nude as well, I’ll be happy to work with you. My name is Deanna and the listing can be found by searching “Oil Painting Jennie Tomao Bragg”. I also quoted from this page to provide background in said listing, and hope you approve. Sincerely and kindly, Deanna C.

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