Guy Carleton Wiggins was the son of Carleton Wiggins, a painter of landscapes and animals. Wiggins first studied at his father's Art School in Connecticut and later enrolled in the National Academy of Design where he trained with William Merritt Chase and Robert Henri, after a brief spell studying architecture at the Polytechnic Institute in Brooklyn. At the age of 20 he was already well known and was the youngest American artist to have a work accepted for the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Prior to the onset of World War I, Wiggins travelled to Europe and painted the English countryside. In England he met his future wife Dorothy Stuart Johnson. The couple returned to the US and set up home in Connecticut. He established a year-round art school, the Guy Wiggins Art School, in Essex. He liked to spend his winters in New York and summers in Connecticut. Wiggins' paintings reflect the influence of American Impressionism, a style of painting he would have encountered during his summers in Old Lyme. He is known for his snowy New York scenes, and Brooklyn Bridge in Winter is a quintessential example of that genre. He developed a style that incorporated the colour and techniques of French Impressionism along with emerging American concepts. Wiggins' unique style and abilities brought him early acclaim, and many awards and distinctions. Throughout his life he strove to maintain the integrity and independence of his style.
He featured in American Painting 1880-1940, Owen Gallery, New York, 1996 and 1998; The American Impressionists, Adelson Galleries, New York, 1996; and The Call of the Mountains: The Artists of the Glaciers National Park, Hockaday Art Museum, Kalispell, Montana, 2002.
Museum and Gallery Holdings
Chicago (AI): Snow
Cincinnati (University Fine Art Collection): Brooklyn Bridge in Winter (c. 1920)
Los Angeles: Fifth Avenue
Muskegon (MA): The Old Docks
New York (Brooklyn Mus.): Berkshire Hills in June
New York (Metropolitan Mus. of Art): Metropolitan Tower
Newark (Mus.): Winter Morning
Richmond, IN (Art Museum): Washington Square in Winter (oil on canvas)
Washington DC (Smithsonian American AM): Columbus Circle, Winter (1911, oil on canvas); Gloucester Harbor (before 1914, oil on canvas)