A New York painter’s magical wintertime city

There’s no snow in the forecast just yet. But winter is right around the corner.

And even New Yorkers who have no love for cold weather concede that the city blanketed in snow, especially at twilight illuminated by streetlamps, is magical and enchanting.


Guy Carleton Wiggins saw something enchanting about snow too.

An Impressionist painter who was born into an artistic Brooklyn family in 1883, Wiggins created many lovely scenes of a snowy 20th century Manhattan. (Above: “A Winter’s Evening in New York”; below: “The Circle”)


He depicted blue-gray skies above snow-dusted horses and carriages, skyscrapers and statues, and masses of pedestrians, huddled under umbrellas or tucking their chins into their necks to stay dry.

The son of painter Carleton Wiggins, Guy Wiggins studied with William Merritt Chase and Robert Henri and found early success. His snow scenes take place at Columbus Circle, along Wall Street, on Fifth Avenue, and at other less recognizable points on the cityscape. (Below: “Brooklyn Bridge in Winter”)

Wiggins452 Wiggins' "Brooklyn Bridge in Winter"

In an interview with the Detroit News (by way of the Rehs Galleries Inc), Wiggins explained how an elevated train chugging through a blizzard outside his studio window inspired his work. (Below: “A Winter Night in New York”)


“One cold, blustering, snowy winter day (1912) I was in my New York studio trying to paint a summer landscape,” said Wiggins.

Wiggins1910“Suddenly I saw what was before me—an elevated railroad track, with a train dashing madly through the whirling blizzard-like snow that made hazy and indistinct the row of buildings on the far side of the street.”

“In a week, so to say, I was established as a painter of city winter scenes, and I found it profitable. Then suddenly I felt a revulsion against them and I stopped. . . . I couldn’t go on with winter stuff and that was all there was to it.”

[Wiggins, 1910]

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12 Responses to “A New York painter’s magical wintertime city”

  1. wack60585 Says:

    Reblogged this on wack60585.

  2. trilby1895 Says:

    No doubt about it, New York in the winter is without equal, especially which scenes as rendered by the Post-Impressionists. Don’t forget one of the classics by Childe Hassam, “Late Afternoon, New York, Winter”. Thank you so much for this piece; I love these paintings!

  3. HWY101Heather Hellman Says:

    Beautiful, thank you.

  4. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    I love love love Childe Hassam. If only I could go back in time into his world of gas lamps at twilight…


  5. trilby1895 Says:

    Thank you, ephemeralnewyork, although, to me, it doesn’t resemble CPS; does it to you? Wherever it was, it’s ethereal; I have a reproduction of this matted, framed, and adorning a wall. Hassam is my favorite Impressionist and I, as well, wish to be back in his world. Also, thank you so much for this very special web-site.

    • ephemeralnewyork Says:

      I don’t see a resemblance either. But it’s so lovely, I don’t mind. Thank you Trilby for all your kind words!

      • trilby1895 Says:

        You are welcome, ephemeralnewyork! Your hard work on behalf of us “Olde New York” lovers is greatly appreciated!

  6. christinadrh Says:


  7. Andrew Porter Says:

    Gorgeous atmospheric paintings. Love them!

  8. Dawn Martinez-Byrne Says:

    How could he remark, in 1910, on a winter from 1912?

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