Elizabeth Quandt Biography

Elizabeth Quandt




Elizabeth Quandt, painter, printmaker, and teacher, was born to Herbert James and Gwendoline Thorne Gunn in Oxfordshire, England on July 13, 1922. Her father, Sir Herbert James Gunn, was a court painter to the royal family. Elizabeth studied at and earned her certificate from Queen Anne’s School in Reading, England.

During the Second World War, Elizabeth met and married American William Mailliard and they moved to San Francisco, California. Mailliard was from an old San Francisco family and went on to become a California State Congressman. Elizabeth attended the San Francisco Art Institute between 1942 and 1944, studying printmaking. 

After her marriage to Mailliard failed, Elizabeth met the photographer William (Bill) Quandt, who was an assistant for Ansel Adams, and they soon married. Bill Quandt ran a successful stereo business in Santa Rosa, California. Elizabeth attended the Santa Rosa Junior College as well as the San Francisco Art Institute. She taught at Ursuline High School as well as night classes at the Santa Rosa Junior College between the years 1962 and 1964. After the death of Bill Quandt in 1964, she commuted to San Francisco attending classes once again at the San Francisco Art Institute, eventually earning her B.F.A. and M.F.A. degrees.

Elizabeth Quandt joined the art department of the Santa Rosa Junior College as a full time faculty member in 1971, where she was an instructor of printmaking and drawing for fourteen years. Passionate about her work, she created a body of drawings, etchings, watercolors, and livres d’artistes. Quandt illustrated Francis Ponge’s Dix poèms, translated by Gerge Gavronsky and printed by Jack Stauffacher in 1983. She also produced two portfolios of etchings, Homage to Boudin: A Suite of Etchings, 1976, and Aries: A Suite of Four Original Etchings, 1978.

Quandt was a member of the California Society of Printmakers and the San Francisco Women Arts and, in fact, served as president of this organization between 1952 and 1954. Her work was first included in an exhibition at the Library of Congress in 1944 and, the following year, two of her lithographs were featured in the Ninth Annual Drawing and Print Exhibition of the San Francisco Art Association. Quandt was also included in exhibitions of the Philadelphia Print Club, the San Francisco Women Artists, the California Society of Printmakers, the National Academy of Design, the Los Angeles Printmakers, and the Boston Printmakers. She had a solo exhibition in 1975 at the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts in San Francisco and was awarded three Djerassi Foundation Fellowships (1984, 1985, and 1986).

Elizabeth Quandt’s work is represented in the collections of the New York Public Library; Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris; Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; the Santa Rosa Junior College Libraries Doyle Collection, Santa Rosa; the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, Stanford; and the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Elizabeth Quandt died in Santa Rosa in December 1, 1994.