Walter Biggs

Walter J. Biggs
Born June 4, 1886
Montgomery County, Virginia
Died February 11, 1968(1968-02-11) (aged 81)
Roanoke, Virginia
Occupation Illustrator and painter
Spouse(s) Mildred Armstrong (1923 - ca. 1937, divorce)

Walter Joseph Biggs (1886–1968) was an American illustrator and fine art painter.[1]


Biggs illustration used in a soap ad in 1922.

Biggs was born in Elliston, Virginia, in 1886. He studied in New York City at the New York School of Art. He was a student of Robert Henri, and some of his fellow students included Edward Hopper and Rockwell Kent.[2] He later taught at the Art Students League and the New York School of Art.[3] He lived in the suburban community of New Rochelle which was a well known artist colony and home to many of the top commercial illustrators of the day such as Frank and J. C. Leyendecker and Norman Rockwell.[4] Also in residence were Al Parker, Mead Schaeffer and Dean Cornwell, who, along with Tom Lovell, N. C. Wyeth and Harold von Schmidt would become leaders in the field.[5]

Biggs became known in the 1920s and 1930s for his illustrations for popular magazines such as the Ladies' Home Journal.[6]

In 1944, Biggs was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Associate member, and became a full member in 1947. In 1963 he was inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame.[6]

Walter Biggs died February 11, 1968. An historical marker was erected at the intersection of Roanoke Boulevard and College Street, in Salem, Virginia, across from Biggs’ family home.[7]


  1. Gunter, Donald W. "Walter J. Biggs (1886–1968)". Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  2. Great American Illustrators by Walt Reed, ISBN 0-517-31783-4
  3. "Walter Biggs". Roanoke College Olin Galleries.
  4. New Rochelle - Arts City
  5. "Illustrators, Volume 33"; Author=Society of Illustrators (New York, N.Y.); Publisher=Hastings House., 1991
  6. 1 2 "1963 - Walter Biggs Hall of Fame Inductee". Society of Illustrators.
  7. "Arts & Extras: Salem artist Walter Biggs commemorated with marker". The Roanoke Times. June 27, 2014. Retrieved September 26, 2016.

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