paintings by Hal Quistgaard
This shot of Hal Quistgaard was taken near the tennis courts at the beach in Ventnor, New Jersey. He used to ride his bicycle to the courts every day and kibbitz the games of the court regulars. He was extremely frank and knowledgable in his assessments of people's games. To play a set with Hal on the sidelines was to have any illusions about your skill swiftly destroyed. On this day, Hal showed up finely dressed because he knew was going to have his picture taken for a newspaper story. He had a great sense of life as theater.
Hal came with his parents from Norway to America and later lived for several years in Paris before returning to the United States. He lived in New Orleans and then New York City before coming to Atlantic City and doing pastel portraits on the boardwalk at Village Artists and at Louis' Artists' Village.
His paintings were innocent in subject and accomplished in form. When he'd finished a series of them, he'd bring them down to Ventnor on his bike and hold them up to be photographed. At this time he was living at Altman Terrace on Virginia Avenue.
These paintings hung in a show at at Lox, Stock & Bagels in Ventnor, where he used to have breakfast many mornings. As you can see, he had a great affection for his work. For many years he rode his bicycle up and down Absecon Island every day in literally every sort of weather. He peddled down Atlantic Avenue in blizzards when he was eighty years old, making his accustomed rounds.
Hal used to pay in cigars for photos of his work. He was also a great reader with seemingly perfect memory and could recite long passages of literature in both French and English. He never married. Hal left Atlantic City in the year 2000.
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