Robert Riggs (1896-1970) dreamed of joining the circus as a child growing up in Illinois.
The visual drama of a spot-lit spectacle would inspire him throughout his prolific career; common themes were boxing rings and circus tents.
Riggs studied at the Art Students League and, after serving in World War I, at the Academie Julian in Paris.
He then worked commercially in Philadelphia and was inspired by Violet Oakley, Robert Henri, and most significantly of all, George Bellows.
In 1931, inspired by Bellow's prints of boxers, Riggs first tried his hand at lithography.
He became one of the most successful American printmakers of the 1930s and 1940s. Ben L. Bassham cataloged his lithographs in 1986 (Philadelphia: Art Alliance Press; London: Associated University Presses, 1986) and lists 84 lithographs in this raisonné.
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