|Gay & Lesbian Art: George Quaintance
George Quaintance was born June 3, 1902 in the Shenandoah Valley
of Virginia, as the only son of a farmer family. His parents
allowed him to develop his artistic potential instead of forcing
him into their way of living and supplied him with paint,
brushes and also fine art training.
Quaintance moved to New York at the age of 18 to study at the
prestigious Art Students' League. A short while later he began
the study of classical and jazz dancing and in a brief stage
career appeared with a critically acclaimed vaudeville dance
troupe. In the late 1930s, he turned his artistic talents to
photography, magazine editing, interior decorating, stage design
and hairdresser. He continued his painting with portraits of
notable people, including foreign diplomats, Washington
politicians and movie stars.
About 1947, he moved to Los Angeles and his beautiful art
started to attract peopleís attention. He painted and
photographed many handsome young men for physique magazines. His
Hollywood images included the bedroom walls of film and stage
star Mae West. Quaintance, a tall handsome blond with a muscular
body, often included his own image in his paintings.
In the early 1950s he moved to a ranch in Phoenix with his
long-time lover and partner, Victor Garcia. Victor was the first
of a series of Latino lovers. Quaintance loved the cowboy image
so much he adopted it himself, wearing tight Leviís and western
shirts with his exotic boots. The Western scenery had always
been his favorite and he produced many of his most beautiful
paintings while living on the ranch. Quaintance, an artist who
drove himself to create and to make his work financially
successful, died of a heart attack at age 55 on November 8, 1957.
About 60 of the iconic male physique oil paintings by Quaintance
are in the hands of private collectors and museums today. Their
value increases each year because they were created by the first
pioneer of the gay male physique in America.
This biography was taken from materials
collected by John Waybright and Ken Furtado, co-authors of an
upcoming comprehensive Quaintance biography. Anyone desiring
further information may e-mail: