Manhattan in winter signed 'Guy C. Wiggins' (lower left) oil on canvas 34 x 40in
PROVENANCE: Private collection By descent to the present owner
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.
In 1912, when Wiggins was just 29 years old, his painting Metropolitan Tower was purchased by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York making him, at the time, the youngest artist to have a work acquired by the museum. 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.
In a letter from the artist's son Guy A. Wiggins, dated March 13, 2014, in which he confirms the authorship of the present work, he states; " ... I judge this to be done about 1905-1910 when he was in his early twenties. ... This is by far the earliest of his New York snow scenes for which he is famous that I personally have seen." This letter will accompany the lot.
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