Fifth Avenue in Winter

MAKER:
Artist

Guy Carleton Wiggins ( American, 1883 - 1962 )

DATE:
c. 1911–1912
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General Description

Although born and raised in the East, where he was affiliated with the artists' colony in Old Lyme, Connecticut, Guy Carleton Wiggins began his career painting his urban surroundings in New York City. Fifth Avenue Winter illustrates Wiggins's affiliation with American Impressionism through his emphasis on capturing the atmospheric effects of gray skies and white snowfall. He became known for winter cityscapes such as this one.

Adapted from

William Keyse Rudolph, DMA label copy (2001.175), July 2005

Fun Facts

  • The traffic creeping along Fifth Avenue in Wiggins's wintry scene may look commonplace from our 21st century perspective. In fact, the presence of private vehicles, delivery trucks, and motor buses was a new feature along Manhattan's thoroughfares in the 1910s. Accidents and travel delays plagued America's biggest city during the short period when roadways served both automobiles and horse-powered vehicles (note the horse-drawn carriage in the center of the avenue).

  • The columned building on the left of Wiggins's Fifth Avenue in Winter may be the Knickerbocker Trust Company Building (completed 1903, designed by McKim, Mead and White). If so, the view provided by this painting looks northward along Fifth Avenue while the southern view would have shown the red brick exterior of the Hotel Waldorf Astoria (replaced by the Empire State Building in 1930).

  • Guy Carleton Wiggins is the second of three generations of family artists. Carleton Wiggins (1848-1932) was his father, and Guy Arthur Wiggins (b. 1920) is his son.

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