A native of New York, Guy Wiggins enrolled in drawing and architecture classes at the Brooklyn Polytechnical Institute, and studied painting under William Merritt Chase and Robert Henri at the National Academy of Design. Wiggins at an early age received wide recognition. At the age of twenty Wiggins was the youngest American artist to have a work acquired for the permanent collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1912.
The Subtreasury, Winter is an example of the New York winter scenes which the artist began producing in the 1920s and for which he is best known today. Works such as this are rooted in the Ash Can School's predilection for images of urban life yet simultaneously reveal the interest in atmospheric effects and suggestive brushwork of Impressionism. Wiggins was most directly influenced by Childe Hassam's celebrated scenes of New York. In the present work, the artist depicts bustling Wall Street with the famed Trinity Church in the distance, the Subtreasury building at right, with the statue of George Washington presented prominently before it. A white veil of snow softens the buildings, creating a quiet, Impressioinistic view of busy lower Manhattan.