Ernest Higgins Rigg (1868-1947)

Ernest Higgins Rigg (1868-1947) was born in Bradford and studied at the School of Art there and then at the Academie Julian in Paris. He first visited Staithes in 1896 and lodged in Hinderwell at Quaker Garth and later stayed at the village’s Commercial Hotel.

He moved to Sussex in 1908, but returned to Yorkshire after the First World War, living in Shipley in 1918 and Richmond in 1919. His brothers, Alfred and Arthur H. were both artists.

His work, almost exclusively in oils, is very concerned with light. It often appears to veritably bounce off the surface of objects in his pictures, but he explores all aspects of the phenomenon: frequently it lights the middle distance, sometimes it pervades the whole picture and occasionally strong shadows are cast, intensifying colours. He enjoyed including children in his compositions.

He was a founder member of the Staithes Art Club and a lively member of the social group of artists in and around the village. He was elected a Council Member of the Yorkshire Union of Artists in 1899. His work is in public galleries in Bradford, Sheffield and Whitby. He exhibited at the Walker Gallery Liverpool, Manchester City Art Gallery, the Royal Academy, the Royal Society of British Artists and the Yorkshire Union of Artists.

Staithes Group Centenary Exhibition, Rosamund Jordan 2003
The Staithes Group, Peter Phillips, Phillips and Sons, Marlow1993
The Yorkshire Union of Artists 1888 – 1922, Dennis Child, Leeds Philosophical and
Literary Society Ltd, Leeds 2001
The Dictionary of British Artists 1880 – 1940, J. Johnson & A. Greutzner, Antique
Collectors’ Club, Woodbridge 1976.
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