Jun 09, 2016 - Sale 2418

Sale 2418 - Lot 44

Estimate: $ 20,000 - $ 30,000
Cafe in the Snow.

Oil on canvas. 406x508 mm; 16x20 inches. Signed in oil, lower right recto.

Sold Doyle, New York, April 5, 1989, lot 110; private collection.

Wiggins was extremely popular in America throughout the first half of the 1900s, aided by his approachable style and his strong artistic pedigree. At the age of only 20 he was the youngest artist to have a work included in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. When he started painting snowy, New York city winter scenes in the mid-1910s his popularity surged (he claimed to have been trying to paint a summer landscape, not able to progress, when he looked out the window of his studio on a winter day and decided to paint the row of buildings across the street blurred by the snow storm).

He moved to Connecticut and purchased a gentleman's farm outside of Old Lyme in the 1920s, though he continued to keep a studio in New York for the next couple of decades. In 1920, Wiggins established an eponymous art school in Connecticut, teaching in New Haven during the "off-season" and in Old Lyme during the summer. In 1937, he relocated his art school year-round to Essex, Connecticut, and would invite important artists such as George Luks, Eugene Higgins and Bruce Crane as visiting instructors during the summers. Wiggins died at age 79, while on vacation in St. Augustine, Florida, and is buried in Old Lyme.