Welcome to GeorgeQuaintance.com. Your hosts, John and Ken, are the authors of QUAINTANCE: The Short Life of an American Art Pioneer. This as-yet-unpublished book is the only complete, authoritative biography of Quaintance ever written and it fills a cultural, historical and academic void for this seminal 20th century artist. We are excited to have exclusive access to hundreds of never-published photographs from Quaintance’s personal scrapbooks and family archives. 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. Write to us at kfurtado@georgequaintance.com.

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Anomaly

Written by Ken Furtado on 18 February 2012.

anomaly1 Glenn Bishop was a hugely popular physique model in the 1950s. There's hardly a single publication of that era that did not have his photos in it at one time or other. Bishop began modeling when he was 15. He was touted as an example of how teenagers could follow the bodybuilding examples of adults. Later, Joe Weider used Bishop as an example of how anyone could build a great physique by following a regimen of calisthenics and weightlifting with free weights — preferably, Weider equipment. No expensive gym membership necessary.

Quaintance painted Glenn Bishop's portrait in 1957, the year he (Quaintance) died. The 37x30-inch oil on canvas depicts Bishop, wearing a bikini, reclining along the trunk of a dead tree. The canvas is signed and dated in the lower right.

The painting is an anomaly because it never appeared in any of the Quaintance catalogs. Even after Quaintance's death, when chromes and photos of the entire Quaintance oeuvre were offered for purchase, the Bishop photo never cropped up. It wasn't until five years later that the painting was first seen by the public, when it appeared (horizontally reversed) on the cover of Demi-Gods, in December 1962.

In his final year, Quaintance painted two canvases, Falconer and Hercules. both of those, and the three paintings that preceded them, were 22x30-inch canvases. Additionally, Quaintance had switched to heroes of myth and legend for his subjects. Even his unfinished work at the time, Odin Entering the Halls of Valhalla, was known to the public. So it's odd that this portrait of Bishop exists: it's the wrong size, the wrong subject matter and it remained unknown for five years.

I had heard that Glenn Bishop was still alive, so I set out to track him down. This was in 2003. I succeeded in locating him, and he was very cordial. Unfortunately he was not able to shed any light on the painting. He never posed for, or met, George Quaintance and had not known about the oil painting until years later. So the portrait remains an anomaly.

Comments  

 
0 #3 Jojo 2013-02-18 14:16
Hi Ken - is Mr Bishop still alive? I would like to tell him what an inspiration he is still to young men, gay and straight. The words hard work, effort, wholesome living, all come to mind when thinking of him. What a man!
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0 #2 Laurent 2012-02-26 05:40
Ken, your articles are always exceptional.
I am writing from France and I want to give some details.
- You can see the first appearance in the right direction on the rear cover of Body Beautiful, february 1957.
- Some time ago a proposed seller of color reproductions from probably a color lithograph and the title was "One a tree". However behind these are mysterious color lithography.
- The greatest probability for this work of George Quaintance is that the artist used a photograph of a shoot by Glenn Bishop directed by Bob Delmonteque. We can find this photo in the catalog of Leslie & Lohman Number 24 Summer 2007.
And in this catalog, for those interested in the artist's life, it is a tribute to George Quaintance written by co-authors John Waybright and Ken Furtado
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0 #1 tyler 2012-02-24 09:11
I remember Glenn Bishop well and looked forward to seeing him in layouts.
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