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An Exhibition of Works from an Iconic Family of American Artists on View at the Salmagundi Club
Photo of Guy C Wiggins. Photo: Courtesy of Wiggins, Wiggins & Wiggins.

NEW YORK, NY.- The Salmagundi Club, the oldest art club in the U.S., will present Wiggins, Wiggins & Wiggins: Three Generations of American Art, a rare multi-generational exhibition bringing together the works of one of America’s great art families. The works of (J.) Carleton Wiggins (1848-1932), Guy C. Wiggins (1883-1962) and Guy A. Wiggins (1920-present), will be on view through July 1.

“I’m delighted to share my family’s love of art and of New York City in this exhibition,” says Guy A. Wiggins “The Salmagundi Club has been home to my family for generations, and it is only fitting that our works be shown here together.”

Viewers can see how each critically-acclaimed artist built on the family sensibility, while carving out their own unique niche and interpretation of their times. Carleton’s atmospheric landscapes reflect the influence of the French Barbizon painters and the Hudson River School; Guy C.’s urban images reflect the spirit of American Impressionism; and Guy A.’s still lifes and urban scenes express the vision of the New Realism.

With a shared legacy of playing a role in the history of American art, the Wiggins artists have been members of the Salmagundi Club from the time it was founded in 1871. Carleton Wiggins, the first generation to take up the profession of artist, served as Club President from 1911-1913.

The exhibition and sale of the Wiggins family works will take place at the Salmagundi Club, located at 47 Fifth Avenue between 11th and 12th Streets in New York City. The Club is proud to serve as a leader in the renewal of representational and realist arts in the United States. A 501(c) organization, it is open to the public Monday-Friday from 1-6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 1-5 p.m. without charge. For more information, call 212-255-7740.

Guy A. Wiggins (1920-present)
Guy Arthur Wiggins is a painterly realist beloved for his New York scenes such as Winter of Fifth Avenue, Winter Comes to Wall Street and Autumn at the Plaza Hotel in which he paints his favorite motifs of famous buildings, busy streets, cafes and quiet parks. The lush vibrancy of his city and country capes reflects the family’s talent for painting en plein air. His still lifes, such as A Summer Still Life, are sought after by collectors for their lively, precise brushwork and colorism. His popular New York City scenes have been reproduced for fine holiday cards such as for Cartier’s.

Born in 1920, Guy A. grew up surrounded by artists of the Old Lyme Art Colony, and art students from the Guy Wiggins Art School, where he met George Luks, John Sloan, and Ernest Lawson. At nine years of age, Guy A. won his first prize gold medal in a New York City school art competition. Although it appeared he was destined to follow in the family footsteps, he volunteered for the armed forces in 1942, subsequently pursuing a career in the Foreign Service. While he traveled abroad, he studied art when he could such as at the Corcoran School of Art and The Sculptor’s Studio in 1968-69, while posted at the Department of State in Washington, D.C.

In 1975, the urge to paint took precedence, and he retired from his last post at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. He enrolled in the Art Students League of New York to study with Robert Beverly Hale and Thomas Fogarty, and took classes at The National Academy of Design. Following in what must have been an almost irresistible family tradition, he took his family abroad and painted in the South of France, Italy, Morocco, Portugal and Turkey.

Listed in Who’s Who in American Art, Guy A. is a popular lecturer on “Growing Up with the Impressionists of Old Lyme” and speaks frequently on his father’s work and the family art archives.

Guy A.’s work is represented by the Joan Whalen Fine Art and the Lambertville Gallery of Fine Art. He has exhibited in several one-person and numerous group shows, and is in prominent collections such as Trenton Museum of Art; the Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme; the Lyman Allen Museum, New London; the Connecticut River Museum, Essex; and the New Britain Museum of American Art.

Guy A. currently lives with his wife Dorothy in Greenwich Village and East Hampton. He received his M.A. from Harvard and pursued further graduate studies at London University.

Guy C. Wiggins (1883-1962)
Frequently called “the last great American impressionist,” Guy Carlton Wiggins is most beloved for his many renditions of snow-filled cityscapes. His striking sense of line and composition of New York City’s urban landscape developed from architectural training that provided him with a special facility for rendering the diverse and beautiful façades of the City’s buildings and streets scenes.

Like his father J. Carleton, he made an essentially European mode of painting his own, basing his style of painting on French Impressionism, distilled through the work of artists like Childe Hassam and John Twachtman. In 1907, Guy C. joined the Salmagundi Club, and in 1912, his career became solidified when The Metropolitan Museum of Art purchased his painting The Metropolitan Tower.

Born in Brooklyn in 1883, the young Guy C. traveled with his family, living in St. Ives, Cornwall and Truro, England. He began garnering attention for watercolors he painted while traveling in France and Holland. In 1892, the family moved back to the U.S. to Watermill, Long Island, where he continued to study painting with his father.

As a young man, he enrolled in Polytechnic Institute in Brooklyn to study architecture and drafting, only to forego it to pursue classes at the National Academy of Design. During this time, it’s likely he studied with Robert Henri, who sent his students to the streets and daily life of New York for their subjects.

He began painting New York snows scenes in the early 1920’s, and continued to paint images of the teeming metropolis he loved for the rest of his life. When the depression hit in the 1930’s, he had trouble selling his works, and sought the security of his farm in Old Lyme, CT with his family. Like his father, he took an active role in the Old Lyme Art Colony, establishing the Guy Wiggins Art School.

In Lyme, he painted rural subjects with his characteristic broken brushstroke and light-filled canvases, influenced by John Twachtman and other American Impressionists in the area. Despite tough times, he maintained a studio in Washington Square Park facing the park in the late 30’s and 40’s to continue painting the City he loved.

Throughout his career, he traveled and gave lectures, demonstrations and workshops, sketching and painting as he went. He stayed true to his style of painting, even when it went out of fashion, ironically returning to popularity a few years after his death in 1962.

Guy C. was an Academician of the National Academy. He won numerous awards including the Hartford Prize from the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts, the Turnbull Prize from the Salmagundi Club, and the Norman Wait Harris Bronze Medal from the Art Institute of Chicago, the J. Francis Murphy Prize from the Rhode Island School of Design, among others. He was the recipient of the Athenaeum Prize from the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts in 1933, and the Lotos Club Prize in 1938.

(J.) Carlton Wiggins (1848-1923)
Carleton Wiggins, was renowned for his distinctive pastoral landscapes and beautiful rendering of farm animals such as sheep and cattle. He was one of the original members of Connecticut’s Old Lyme Art Colony, and its most direct link to the French Barbizon painters that inspired what became a center of American Impressionism. In works such as Watering Near the Farm, viewers can see the soft edges, subtle light and warm colors that make his work exceptional.

John Carleton Wiggins was born in 1848 in Harriman, New York and moved to Brooklyn in 1859. After a public school education in Brooklyn, he went to work as a law clerk at the age of 15. With the assistance of patron Joseph Grafton, a client of the law firm, he started studying art with Johann Hermann Carmiencke, and at the National Academy of Design. In the 1860s, he studied the eminent American landscape painter George Inness in Eagleswood, New Jersey, where Inness was a participant in the utopian art community known as the Raritan Bay Union. Wiggins first exhibited his work at the National Academy of Design in 1870.

He and his wife, Mary Clucas, traveled to France and Holland in 1880, where he was exposed to the work of Constant Troyon, Anton Mauve, and Emile van Marcke. Returning to Brooklyn in 1883, Wiggins took studio space in Brooklyn where he continued to create his beloved landscapes and grazing herds until 1917. He used Carlton Wiggins as his professional name.

He was an Academician of the National Academy of Design, and was invited to exhibit at the Royal Academy in London in 1896 and 1897. His paintings were reproduced as “Pictures of the Year” and “Royal Academy Pictures.” A bronze medalist at the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, Wiggins served s a juror at the Louisiana Exposition in St. Louis in 1904. He was a life member of the Lotos Club, the American Water Color Society, the Society of American Artists, the Connecticut Academy of Fine Art, and the Brooklyn Art Club. He was the recipient of many awards and is collected in numerous museums.

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