Wednesday, April 20, 2016

James M. Triggs (1924-1992)

James Martin Triggs was born on March 2, 1924, in Indianapolis and was educated in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, and Mamaroneck, New York. He served in the U.S. military during World War II and studied at Cornell University and the Pratt Institute. Triggs got his start as a commercial artist working with Stevan Dohanos (1907-1994) and Coby Whitmore (1913-1988). Often working in a trompe l'oeil manner, he did advertising art and painted magazine covers for Argosy and other publications. He was especially interested in airplanes and firearms. Triggs was also an author, with the books The Piper Cub Story (1963) and Used Plane Buying Guide (1962) to his credit. James M. Triggs died on June 26, 1992, in Danbury, Connecticut.

Text copyright 2016 Terence E. Hanley


  1. James Martin Triggs was my grandfather. Thank you for this web page and the art that you featured. - James Triggs

    1. Dear Jim,

      I'm glad you like what I wrote. I wish I could have found more images by him. I'm really fascinated by his art.

      Terence Hanley

    2. Hello Terence,

      You can find a detailed photo of the artwork Mr. Triggs did for the "Skeeter Skelton" special, along with images of the engraved piece at this link:

    3. Mike (as we used to call him) was my guardian for several years in the 1970s, when he and his wife Janet were the house parents at a group home in Riverdale Maryland run by Stan Levy (Family Homes Inc). He was more than a guardian to me. As a young aspiring sketch artist Frank took me under his wing and taught me to paint in Acrylics (his medium of choice at the time). Over the years that training he gave me helped develop my photographic style, and to this day lessons in color, light, perspective, all play into my photography. Mike also helped me develop my writing skill, helping mentor me on short stories and poetry. Today I've been published in various newspapers and magazines, and this too I give part credit to my time back in the little house off Riverdale Road where Mike and I would sit up into the wee hours of the morning writing, painting and just talking about life. I was saddened to learn Mike passed so young, always hoping I'd run into him one day and have the chance to thank him for the life lessons he gave me during those developing years as a teenager when I could have gone in many directions, but thanks to his help I ended up following the path I took. He never saw me go to college, we lost track by then, but I don't think a year of my life goes by when I don't drift back to those lazy summer nights around the kitchen table, painting, writing, talking about life and of course, playing hearts and spades. If anyone reads this is in touch with Janet, please give her my best. Also tell Danny, his son whom I am sure has forgotten about me that I send my best and hope he is well. I'll never forget the huge mural he painted of Danny on the wall of a building in Hyattsville. Its gone now, but it stood for many years as a testament to his amazing talent. He was a good and decent man, and I count myself fortunate to have had the years under his tutelage that I had.

    4. Correction, my comments are about his son. This appears to be Mikes father. Both painted for Gun Digest, and Flying magazine, but James Michael was who I knew. I knew of his Dad, but don't think I ever met him. His father he told me painted in oils. Mike of course painted in Acrylics. The sentiments of course remain the same.

  2. Thank you for sharing! He was my grandfather also. ��
    Tara Triggs-Sample

  3. Replies
    1. If you don't mind my asking, what is SAHA?


  4. Jim was a good friend of mine. Truly a great man and a great artist.