Thursday, 22 February 2018

EbookCoverWelcome to the George Quaintance blog. Your hosts, John Waybright and Ken Furtado, are the authors of QUAINTANCE: The Short Life of an American Art Pioneer, the only complete, authoritative biography of Quaintance ever written. Our book fills a cultural, historical and academic void for this seminal 20th century artist. It is packed with photos and available as an ebook at Smashwords, for the low price of $12.99. We are excited to have exclusive access to hundreds of never-published photographs from Quaintance’s personal scrapbooks and family archives. Sadly, John passed away in May 2013, before seeing the book published. We hope you will use this site as a platform to exchange ideas, information and images related to this under-valued artist, as well as to learn more about him. Please send your email to


mae west muralQuaintance was his own best promoter, and one of the things he promoted himself as was a muralist. But where are the murals?

There's one for sure: it hangs over the baptismal font at the Stanley, Virginia Baptist Church that his mother attended. Quaintance painted it at her request, with the blessings of the church, and it's there today for all to see. It depicts life-sized figures of John the Baptist holding the hand of Jesus and leading him into the River Jordan. Six male figures are prostrate on the shore, including an anomalous jungle boy wearing a tiny loincloth.

Quaintance was also said to have painted the mural adorning an entire wall of Mae West's boudoir, at her 7,500-square-foot Santa Monica beach house. The residence was considered to be an art deco masterpiece, but the mural was destroyed during remodeling after West sold the property. I have a poor, foreshortened snapshot of the mural. It does not appear to be the work of Quaintance.

churchmuralThe Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Research Center has two transparencies of the mural, offering what one hopes is a better view, but despite my twice making arrangements to travel to Los Angeles to view the chromes in question, fate prevented it. One time, the person I was to meet forgot about the meeting and the other time she could not locate the images.

Early in my research I discovered references to a bar in the L.A. area that allegedly had a mural painted by Quaintance, but it turned out to be a homage to Quaintance painted by another artist.

If any reader knows of any murals that may have been painted by Quaintance, we would love to hear about them.

This entry introduces a new feature to the blog. One reader wrote to suggest that visitors be able to see larger images, so now (I hope) that if you click on an image, a larger copy of it will open in a new window (click on the larger image to close it). Right now I do not plan to go back and re-do the images already posted.


#2 Charles Verrastro 2015-03-19 14:57
Leslie Grimes was an itinerant artist, professional wrestler and boxing referee and Hollywood Stunt Man best known for the vast mural on the Clougherty Meat Packing Plant in Arizona, which still exists and is a well-known tourist attraction.
Leslie Grimes was also a scenery painter at the Fox and Charlie Chaplin movie studios in the early 1930s. - See more at:
#1 Charles Verrastro 2014-06-18 15:19
I meant to comment when first reading this section. The mural at Mae West's Santa Monica beach house was done by Leslie Grimes ('Old Grimey' as he was known. I believe the director John Boorman in his memoirs recalls seeing it before the sale and said it was above a curving staircase, not in the bedroom. Mae herself once described it and said it was done by a "Great Artist".

Add comment

Security code