Although Guy Wiggins painted many New York snow scenes that would bring him prominence in American artistic circles, it was his paintings of his beloved Old Lyme and Essex, Connecticut that were much more personal to the artist. Taught first by his father, Carleton Wiggins, and later William M. Chase and Robert Henri at the National Academy of Design, Wiggins’ work was enthusiastically received from the beginning. Recognition came at the age of twenty when he became the youngest artist to have work accepted into the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and in 1919 he was elected a full member of the National Academy of Design.
When Wiggins was a student at the National Academy, Impressionism was the accepted basis of academic discipline. The artistic license of masters such as Childe Hassam and members of the “Ten” inspired the young artist and his style blossomed within this movement as he pursued the Impressionist form with an independent and passionate dedication. This was further instilled when Wiggins made the art colony in Old Lyme, Connecticut his summer home from 1920 to 1937. It was here in the early years of this century that impressionism germinated and grew from a French influenced aesthetic to something wholly native.
Renowned for his winter scenes of New York City, Guy Carleton Wiggins, son of the noted landscape painter Carleton Wiggins, steadfastly held to his deeply personal Impressionist style of painting in spite of the growing interest in Realism. Wiggins’ Impressionist theory of painting did not originate from the influence of the French or Continental artists but rather came by way of such American artistic giants as Childe Hassam, who influenced this distinctly American artist to adapt Impressionism with a certain Yankee flavor.
Butterfield & Butterfield Auction, CA., 14 June 2000, lot 2101
Private collection, NJ., 2000 – 2020
Rago Auction, Lambertville, NJ., 13 November 2020, lot 545 (listed as Madison Square Garden)
Listed with the Guy Wiggins Virtual Catalog Raisonńe: GW001120