Victor Higgins

Ackermans Fine Art

William Victor Higgins was born to a family of peasants on June 28, 1884 at Shelbyville, Indiana. As a child, the only art he recognized was his fathers affection for flowers. At the age of 9, he met a young artist who taught him how to use the paint and brush. At 15, after having saved from his allowances, Victor Higgins attended the New Chicago Art Institute and the Academy of Fine Arts.

Victor Higgins

The Wampum Traders

Victor Higgins travelled to New York in 1908 and met Robert Henri, a major influence to his works. While in Chicago, he became affiliated to former mayor and paint collector Carter H. Harrison. Harrison supported his education in Paris and his exploration of the great museums in Europe. While at the Academie de la Grande Chaumier in Paris, he met Walter Ufer who inspired him to change the way he interpreted American art.

He moved to Taos, New Mexico and became a member of the Taos Society of Artists in 1917. He exhibited with Jane Peterson in 1925 and with Wayman Adams and Janet Scudder in 1927. He was awarded the First Logan Prize at the Art Institute of Chicago and the First Altman Prize at the National Academy of Design, New York. From then on, he received various awards for exhibitions in Luxembourg, France and Venice. In 1921, he became an associate to the National Academy.

Victor Higgins was married to Sara Parsons, daughter of painter Sheldon Parsons, and then to Marion Kooglen McNay of San Antonio. These marriages were brief, as it seemed that his devotion was more to his artwork. Higgins died in 1949, which also marked the end of the Taos art colony. Some of his major contributions include “Fiesta Day”, “Taos from the Hillside, New Mexico Skies, and Moorland Piper.