Guy Wiggins was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of prominent artist Carleton Wiggins, a painter in the Barbizon style who studied with George Inness. As a boy, Guy moved to England with his family and traveled extensively throughout Europe. He was only eight years old when he received public praise from New York critics for watercolors he had painted in France and Holland.
Wiggins returned to New York in his teens, and later attended the Polytechnic Institute in Brooklyn to study architecture. Soon however, he became more interested in art, and enrolled in the National Academy of Design where he studied first under William Merritt Chase and later under Robert Henri. Wiggins attained early recognition and success; by the age of twenty he had a painting accepted for the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His New York cityscape painting titled “Metropolitan Tower,” purchased by the Metropolitan Museum in 1912, supposedly made Wiggins the youngest American artist to have a work enter the museum’s permanent collection.
Wiggins traveled widely throughout the United States. With the permission of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, he completed two paintings of the Executive Mansion from the lawn of the White House, one of which was eventually placed in the Eisenhower Museum in Abilene, Kansas, after hanging in the president’s office.
Wiggins works are housed in numerous private collections and institutions, such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; The White House, Washington, DC; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT; Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY; The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; Rockford Art Museum, Rockford, IL; San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, CA; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; Wright Museum of Art, Beloit, WI; Heckscher Museum, Long Island, NY; and the Newark Museum, Newark, NJ.