Self-portrait (detail), oil on canvas, 1990

William Baggett was raised and attended public schools in Nashville, Tennessee before earning two degrees in art from Auburn University.

He taught in university art and design programs for 39 years, prior to retiring in 2010 and returning to his studio endeavors on a full-time basis. Baggett's career in academics enabled him to develop an independent approach to his creative work and consequently to build a reputation, outside the conventional art establishment. He retired as Professor Emeritus of Art and Design at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Baggett’s paintings and his printmaking works are included in collections throughout the United States, Europe and Japan. He worked directly with both French and American art publishers to personally execute fifteen original print editions in ateliers in Paris and New York from 1980-1995. The U.S. Information Agency has included his work in the U.S. Embassies Overseas Collection. 

From 1992-2005 the majority of his creative output was dedicated to mural painting on a monumental scale for public spaces in Mississippi and Alabama. Since 2006, he has returned to creating modestly scaled works, more suitable to the easel. He and his wife Lynne, both maintain studios in Mississippi and Maine. 

In 2014, Baggett was recognized by the Mississippi Arts Commission for career achievements with a Governor's Award in Visual Art.