Victor Higgins

(1884 - 1949)

"Afternoon", Oil on canvas, 18 x 20 inches



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  • William A. Karges Fine Art is internationally known as one of the premier galleries specializing in historically important Early California and Taos Founders' paintings executed between 1880 and 1940
  • Two California gallery locations, in Carmel at Dolores and 6th Street, and Santa Monica at Bergamot, 2525 Michigan Ave., T-3

William A. Karges Fine Art, Bergamot Station, Santa Monica


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Victor Higgins Biography


A key member of the Taos, New Mexico Society of Artists, Victor Higgins seemed much more influenced by modernist, abstract art than the other members although much of his work seemed realistic.  From 1920, he was combining Impressionism with Cubism and painting mostly landscapes reduced to basic shapes, giving a sense of visual rhythm and showing geometric relationships of form and design.

He was a native of a farming community in Indiana who was inspired towards art by an itinerant sign painter.  He studied briefly at the Art Institute of Chicago, having left home for Chicago at the age of 15 and studying with E. Martin Hennings and Walter Ufer.  For four years, he traveled in Europe and studied in Munich, and in 1912 returned to Chicago where an exhibition of his work at the Palette and Chisel Club earned him national attention and the esteemed Gold Medal.

Higgins was profoundly affected at the Armory Show of 1913 in New York by works of Marcel Duchamp and Marsden Hartley, and from that time, he went through several phases of modernism.  In 1915, he became a permanent resident of Taos, New Mexico because of the patronage of Chicago mayor and art patron Carter Harrison who was a key person in getting Chicago artists to paint in Taos.  Harrison had become alerted to Higgins' skill at the 1912 Palette and Chisel Club exhibit.  Throughout his career, Higgins had many collectors from Chicago, and he made good money for his painting during his lifetime.

In his paintings, he depicted the seemingly unchanging culture of the Pueblo Indians and their inherent dignity as they went about their daily life.  He was known as a formal, business minded man who painted in a three-piece suit.

Dean Porter, Taos Artists
Michael David Zellman, 300 Years of American Art


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