Born in Troy, New York, Charles Quest was an active artist and educator in St. Louis, Missouri. From 1929 to 1944, he taught art in the public schools, and from 1944 to the 1970s, he was a professor at the Washington University School of the Fine Arts, where he had studied from 1924 to 1929. He also did advanced study in France, Spain and England. His preferred medium was oil.
Quest exhibited widely including the National Academy of Design, Kansas City Art Institute, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He executed religious murals in St. Louis including altar paintings in Trinity Episcopal Church and the Old Cathedral, and gave printmaking workshops.