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


youth.cupYou are looking at a very early work by George Quaintance that was probably painted before the artist left his native Virginia to attend art school in 1920. It was discovered earlier this year. The story follows.

George's mother, Ella Belle, remained emotionally and geographically close to her sister, Nannie Finter, throughout her life, even naming her daughter Nannie. Young Nannie died in 1920, and George's father died in 1945, so when George's mother died, years later, much of her estate passed to her sister. Her belongings included nearly every painting young George produced before he left home for art school, carefully preserved by his doting mother. Those paintings ended up in the Finter home — some in the attic or closets. Today they are carefully maintained by Nannie Finter's grand-daughter.

Regarding the new painting, in a recent email, she wrote, "The only paintings stored in my parents' home are George's. They wouldn't be here in Virginia if they were later (than when he left for art school). After he left to go west I don’t believe many of his pieces made it back here. Interestingly, I recently found another oil that I’m sure George did. I found it only recently while doing a thorough cleaning."

She and I disagree as to whether the newfound painting is a fanciful self-portrait. She thinks it is a girl; I think it's a boy. She has the advantage of owning and being able to view the actual painting. It is oil on academy board and measures 17x20 inches. The painting is unsigned. The subject is a rosy-cheeked youth with delicate facial features and wispy reddish hair, holding a cup. It must have been painted before 1920 in order to have been passed down as part of Ella Belle's estate.

Readers of this blog are invited to submit opinions and reasons as to whether this is a boy or a girl.


#1 CHARLES VERRASTRO 2014-06-07 14:41
Ifind it unlikely a young Quaintance would have dared paint a bare-breasted female, especially of his own age, and prsent it to his auntie. The chest, BTW, is obviously of a boy.
Could it have been a study for the Church mural he did for his mother's church? The cup may have figured in a Last Supper theme he may have planned at one time.

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