John Edward Costigan
John Edward Costigan (American 1888-1972)
John Edwards Costigan was born in Providence, Rhode Island on 29 February 1888. He differed from many other successful artists in that he was primarily self-taught yet he created a highly individualized style of painting reminiscent of the Impressionists.
After finishing public school, Costigan moved to New York City where he would spend the next twenty-two years as a sketch artist for H. Miner Lithography Co. He moved with his wife, model Ida Blessin, to the small New York town of Orangeburg where he dedicated his life to his art. His life in Orangeburg was well suited to his artistic philosophy. As art historian Michael Zellman in 300 Years of American Art remarked: “[his] paintings have a unity of subject matter, texture and emotional feeling which invites the viewer to participate and learn.”
Costigan was extremely interested in painting the continuance of nature and focused his work on genre and pastoral scenes set on his rural farm. His work often highlights the joy of motherhood, security of childhood and a rapport with animals and nature. He was devoted to the woods around his home and regarded the city only as “a market place for what comes off the land, be it livestock or art.”
Throughout his lifetime Costigan received numerous awards and his work is in museum collections across the country.