American Masterpieces from Dryads Green Gallery
(Please Scroll Down and Page Ahead--Catalogue is Alphabetical by Artist Last Name)
Our TV Star is Back!
We are pleased to report that Early
Spring in Essex
was chosen as one of
twenty-five paintings selected for the
recent--three generation--Wiggins,
Wiggins,Wiggins exhibit held at the
Salmagundi Club which reported
attendance of 10,000 by the NY Times
and the painting was seen  on
Channel 7 in the background of an
interview with Guy A. Wiggins, the
artist's son!
The "Gris"
Guy Wiggins, ca. 1945
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Curator's Comments:Three generations of Wiggins painters came to an end in 2020.
The lineage began with Carleton Wiggins (1848-1932), whose cow filled landscapes remain
popular today. Guy Carleton Wiggins (1883-1962), known as Guy C., continued the lineage,
and was the family's most successful artist. His New York cityscape painting,
, purchased by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1912, is said to have made Wiggins
the youngest American artist to have his  work enter that museum's permanent collection.
The last of the line, Guy Arthur Wiggins (1920--2020), known as Guy A., lived to 100. He
served as the authenticator of his father's work, and certified the painting we offer. He also
painted right up to the end of his life, and his work has been confused with his more
successful father by auctioneers unaware of the Wiggins kegacy. While dining with me, Guy
A. spoke of his father’s life in Essex, Connecticut, emphasizing several times that in the
depths of the Great Depression, “Dad, just kept trying.” The family had moved from New
York City to the Impressionist community at Lyme, Connecticut, where Wiggins Jr. was
born. Prior to the Depression his father purchased a farm “with outbuildings and even a
sheepfold,” which were turned into an art school with as many as 100 students upto 1937.
But after the breakup of Wiggins’ marriage to his English wife, Dorothy Stuart Johnson, he
and Guy Jr. lived in “the Gris,” the Griswold Inn in Essex from 1937 to 1941, when the son
joined the military and then the foreign service. Wiggins Sr. kept a residence in Essex, but
after the war alternated between his New York studio and Florida as well. Let me add here
that the son, Guy A., was a charming man, with a kind word for everyone, and after his
favorite Perfect Manhattan, could recite Byron's, "The Destruction of Sennacherib," by heart..
Guy C. was the family's masterpiece maker. He entered the Polytechnic Institute in Brooklyn
to study architecture, but soon decided to become a painter and transferred to the National
Academy of Design, where he studied with Chase and Henri too. But war and the Great
Depression impacted his career. He painted New York City snowscapes. emphasizing the
Plaza, Fifth Avenue, and the stock exchange. With nearly every major Wall Street CEO's
having a Wiggins hanging in his office. But Wiggins' best work  revives a feeling of
contentment in the simple things of life, which was in accord with the Eisenhower years. He
too wanted to restore the American dream. Old Lyme, Connecticut in the 1930's was the
Bedford Falls of Frank Capra's
It's A Wonderful Life, where life beats despair any day, and
Essex bills itself as “the best small town in America.” Every time we look at his Essex work it
calls to mind the country towns of Massachusetts and Connecticut we have lived in and never
can forget. Notice too how the eye is quick to enter the deep shade of the porch touching on
the forsythia. There are tunnels here, passages thru windows and doors and trees, with the
lane itself becoming a tree-topped tunnel that goes on forever. Notice the bend in the lane to
the left and how it balances the convexity of the road, and the green within its surface.In
Essex, Wiggins wanted to catch the pervasive harmony of the country village-- painting its
lanes, its dwellings and, instead of the snow, he focuses on the interaction of bud red trees
and greens with the houses—once again all is silent, but we know that life is going on in the
homes seen here in
Early Spring in Essex. The coloration ranging from the forsythia’s
bursting yellow to the palest green of the elms’ emerging leaves bathes the houses in green
tones of their own. As Adrienne L. Walt wrote in the
American Art Review, "His resolution
was to constantly emphasize color, elevating it above all else and achieving luminosity
through it." Wiggins is often compared with Hassam, but we think the latter is much more
derivative in a European impressionist sense. Wiggins’ impressionism is smoother, more
subtle in its tonality, and his fauvist simplicity catches something very American The more we
look at this work, the more we see, which is its greatness as a work of art, and we see
something new here everyday--subtle expressions that make this a keeper. This is the real
thing--and  very much worth owning--don't miss it.
"Early Spring Essex," 1950, Oil on Canvas, 25 x 30, Signed and Authenticated