Fifth Avenue, Midtown signed 'Guy Wiggins.' (lower left) and signed again and inscribed with title (on the reverse) oil on canvas 30 x 25in
PROVENANCE: with Nicholas Woloshuk, Santa Fe, New Mexico Acquired by the present owner from the above, circa 1970s
EXHIBITED: West Palm Beach, Florida, Palm Beach Art League, Norton Gallery & School of Art, n.d.
Renowned cityscape artist Guy Carleton Wiggins was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1883 and began painting at an early age with the encouragement of his father, J. Carleton Wiggins, also an accomplished artist. The aspiring young artist received praise from art critics in New York when he was only eight years old and spent a great deal of time painting and sketching while in Europe with his family. After briefly studying architecture at the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, Wiggins decided to pursue painting at the National Academy of Design where he was taught by William Merritt Chase and Robert Henri.
New York City in winter is by far Wiggins' most successful subject. The present work, Fifth Avenue, Midtown, is the epitome of his most iconic views with its atmospheric haze of quick brushstrokes that capture the energy of this landmark metropolis. In 1912, when Wiggins was just 29 years old, his painting Metropolitan Tower was purchased by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. His fame later extended to permissions granted to complete a painting on the White House lawn of the Executive Mansion, which later hung in President Eisenhower's office.
Wiggins eventually moved to a farmhouse in Lyme, Connecticut, where he opened the Guy Wiggins Art School. His work can be found in national collections including the Chicago Art Institute, Chicago, Illinois, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York, among others.