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Carleton Wiggins

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Carleton Wiggins
Lyme Art Colony
American, (March 4, 1848–June 11, 1932) In Lyme: summers, 1904-1916; permanently 1917 - 1932.
Carleton Wiggins was born in Orange County, New York, and, according to family recollections, showed his artistic inclinations at an early age. he began studying art in Brooklyn with Johann Herman Carmiencke and at the National Academy of Design. In the late 1860s he became a pupil of George innes, one of the country's foremost landscape painters. Wiggins studied in France in 1881 and exhibited in the Paris Salon the same year. Later he took up residence at St. Ives, England and in 1896 and 1897 was invited to exhibit at the Royal Academy.

Carleton Wiggins' paintings were equally as popular abroad as in the United States. His fascination with pastoral subjects typical of the Barbizon movement proved to be lifelong and he painted countless pictures of sheep or cattle grazing in soft green meadows. The influence of George Innes in his work is quite evident in the soft edges, subtle light and shadow, and overall low-key tonality. In his later years he adopted a somewhat modified impressionist technique.

Wiggins received numerous awards and medals at prestigious institutions both nationally and internationally. He was elected an associate of the National Academy of Design in 1892 and a full academician in 1906. His work is repesented in many distinguished private and public collections.

In 1904 Wiggins began to spend summers in Old Lyme and moved his permanent home here in 1917. One of his sons, Guy Carleton, follwed in his footsteps and became an artist, famous for his New York City impressionist snow scenes.

Additional Reading: "Paintings by Three Generations of Wiggins" exhibition catalogue, The New Britain Museum of American Art, 1979.

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