Painter. Extending impressionism well into the twentieth century, he specialized in New York cityscapes, particularly as seen during snowstorms. During summers in Connecticut, he painted landscapes. For some years associated with Old Lyme, in 1937 he established his own art school nearby Essex. As well, he painted on travels throughout the United States and Canada. Although indebted to Childe Hassam's example, Wiggins's softly romantic work indicates a milder sensibility. His wintry urban views domesticate urban bustle and tame the hostile weather. Born in Brooklyn, he spent part of his childhood in Europe and went to school in England. He enrolled at the Polytechnic Institute in Brooklyn to study architecture but left to train at the National Academy of Design. Although he gleaned his knowledge of impressionism primarily from American artists, in his best work he achieved a free and convincing variant of the style. Before World War I he painted in England. He died in St. Augustine, Florida, while on vacation.
Wiggins received his earliest training from his father, Carleton Wiggins (1848–1932), a popular painter of Barbizon-style landscapes, often featuring farm animals. Born in Turners (now Harriman), west of the Hudson River near Bear Mountain, John Carleton Wiggins moved as a youth to Brooklyn. He studied at the National Academy and with George Inness. Later he worked and exhibited in England and France. He also traveled elsewhere on the Continent. While living in New York, from 1902 he spent his summers at Old Lyme, where he moved permanently in 1915. Guy's son, Guy Arthur Wiggins (1920– ), paints landscapes, city views, and still lifes. Born in New London, he began painting under his father's instruction. After graduating from Stanford University in 1940, he earned master's degrees at Harvard University and the London School of Economics. Although he became a foreign service officer, he maintained his interest in art, studying at the Corcoran School of Art (now Corcoran College of Art and Design) in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere. In 1975 he turned to painting full time, pursuing additional training at the Art Students League and traveling abroad. He lives in New York. From 1985 until 1999 he maintained a second home near Lambertville, New Jersey, across the Delaware River from New Hope.