About This Artwork

William Victor Higgins
American, 1884–1949

Spring Rains, c. 1924

Oil on canvas
102.2 x 109.9 cm (40 1/4 x 43 1/4 in.)

Friends of American Art Collection, 1924.18

Victor Higgins studied and taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He first went to Taos, New Mexico, in 1914, funded by a syndicate organized by Chicago mayor Carter H. Harrison, Jr., who wanted to increase the status of fine arts in the city by sending painters to the Southwest. Liberated from fiscal concerns, Higgins experimented boldly. In Spring Rains, he established the grandeur of the modern yet sublime landscape by ringing El Salto Peak with clouds and flooding the valley below with light, creating shimmering atmospheric effects with his vibrant palette. As Higgins once observed, “A field or a mountain is always changing. They change size and color with every passing cloud and with the passing of every hour and season.”

— Permanent collection label

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Indiana, South Bend Art Association, "American Painting in the Manner of the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries," February 10-March 31, 1948.

Chicago, University Club, long term loan, 1954-1981.

Phoenix Art Museum, "Victor Higgins: an American Master," December 14, 1990-February 10, 1991; traveled to Cody, Wyoming, Buffalo Bill Center, March 1-May 17, 1991; South Bend, Indiana, University of Notre Dame, Snite Museum of Art, June 6-September 22, 1991; Tulsa, Gilcrease Museum, October 20-December 29, 1991; Los Angeles, Autry Museum, January 26-March 14, 1992; Indianapolis, Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, April 7-May 31, 1992.

Tulsa, Gilcrease Museum, "Taos Artists and Their Patrons," May 16-July 18, 1999; traveled to South Bend, Indiana, University of Notre Dame, Snite Museum of Art, August 15-November 14, 1999; Phoenix Art Museum, December 11, 1999-March 12, 2000; Albuquerque Museum, April 16-July 16, 2000; San Antonio, McNay Art Museum, August 13-November 12, 2000 (Phoenix, Albuquerque, and San Antonio only).

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