JOHN EDWARD COSTIGAN, N. A. (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 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.  On 5 August 1972, after a long illustrious career, Costigan died of pneumonia in Nyack, New York.

Studied
Self – taught

Work
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Art Institute of Chicago
New York Public Library
Brooklyn Museum of Art
Brigham Young University
Rochester Memorial Art Gallery
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
New Orleans Museum of Art
Phillips Gallery
Cranbrook Academy of Art
Library of Congress
Davenport Memorial Art Gallery
Frye Museum of Art, Seattle
Utah State University
Montclair Art Museum
Vanderpoel Art Association Collection, Chicago
Delgrado Museum, New Orleans
Rhode Island School of Design
Connecticut Agricultural College
National Arts Club Collection
Salmagundi Club Thumb Box Collection
Mobile Museum of Art
San Diego Museum of Art
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens
The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art
Georgia Museum of Art
Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University
Richmond Art Museum
The University of Michigan Museum of Art
Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Missouri-Columbia
The Hickory Museum of Art
National Academy of Design Museum
The Columbus Museum of Art
Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College
Butler Institute of American Art
El Paso Museum of Art
Michelson Museum of Art
Boston Museum of Fine Arts
Springville Museum of Art
Paine Art Center, Oshkosh, WI
Sheldon Swope Art Museum, Terre Haute, IN
The Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, Hagerstown, MD
The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma
Murals: United States Post Offices: Gurard, OH; Rensselaer, IN; Stuart, WV

Member
National Academy of Design (Associate Member, 1926; Full Member, 1928)
American Watercolor Society
New York Watercolor Society
Salmagundi Club
Allied Artists of America
Society of American Animal Painters & Sculptors
National Arts Club
Guild of American Painters
Philadelphia Society of Etchers
Society of American Etchers
Woodstock Art Association
Kit Kat Club

Exhibited
Corcoran Gallery, 1916 – 1945
Salmagundi Club, 1920 (Isidor Prize), 1923 (Vezin Prize), 1924 (Shaw Purchase Prize) 1928 (Plimton Prize), 1933 (prize), 1936 (prize)
National Academy of Design, 1920 (Third Hallgarten Prize), 1925 (Saltus Medal), 1927 (Clark & Second Altman Prizes), 1928 (Speyer Prize)
Art Institute of Chicago, 1922 (Peterson Purchase Prize), 1923 (Charles E. Kramer Purchase Prize), 1924 (W. H. Tuthill Purchase Prize), 1927 (Logan Medal), 1954 (prize)
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1923-1941
National Arts Club, 1925 (Bronze Medal), 1936 (medal), 1954 (Gold Medal), 1961 (Purchase Prize
Sesqi-Centennial Exposition, 1926 (Bronze Medal)
American Watercolor Society, 1928 (prize), 1933 (prize), 1936 (prize), 1958 (prize)
Grand Central Art Galleries, 1928 (Mrs. Julius Rosenwald Prize)
Palm Beach Art Association (prize)
Society of American Etchers, 1933 (prize), 1938 (prize)
Library of Congress, 1942
Carnegie Institute, 1944-1946
Society of American Graphic Artists
Whitney Museum of American Art
Ogunquit Art Club, 1955

References
American Paintings in the Museum of Fine Arts Boston; Columbus Museum of Art
The American Collection; Craven (ed.)
A Treasury of American Prints
100 Etchings and Lithography by Living Artists; Falk
Who Was Who in American Art; Katlan
“The Salmagundi Club
American Art Review (Oct. 1997); Kent (ed.)
Drawings By American Artists; Langer
Mother & Child in Art; Manoguerra
“American Works/Paine Art Center"
American Art Review (Oct. 1998); Opitz (ed.)
Mantle Fielding’s Dictionary of American Painters
Sculptors & Engravers; Pagano
Contemporary American Painting; Swope Art Museum
The Graphics Work of J. E. C.; Watson, Twenty
Painters and How They Work; Zellman
300 Years of American Art; Other references