Skip Navigation


Bradley Walker Tomlin

American Art

On View:
To render the three-dimensional volume of the female form, Bradley Walker Tomlin created delicate tonal modulations by dragging and rubbing a Conté crayon across the textured surface of the paper. Intersecting Cubist planes, lightly sketched on the figure’s lower back, hint at an underlying abstract structure, while accents of watercolor around the figure add a decorative touch.

Best known for his mature Abstract Expressionist paintings, Tomlin destroyed much of his early work, of which Back is a rare surviving example.
MEDIUM Conté crayon and watercolor on medium, beige, moderately textured, laid paper paper with watermark
DATES ca. 1925
DIMENSIONS sheet: 11 1/2 × 11 5/16 in. (29.2 × 28.7 cm) frame: 23 × 17 × 2 in. (58.4 × 43.2 × 5.1 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Signed in graphite, lower right: "Tomlin"
CREDIT LINE Gift of Frank L. Babbott
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Bradley Walker Tomlin (American, 1899–1953). Back, ca. 1925. Conté crayon and watercolor on medium, beige, moderately textured, laid paper paper with watermark, sheet: 11 1/2 × 11 5/16 in. (29.2 × 28.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Frank L. Babbott, 25.520 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 25.520_PS3.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 25.520_PS3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2011
"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.
After diligent research, the Museum is unable to locate contact information for the artist or artist's estate, or there are no known living heirs. 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
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.