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 John Pike  (1911 - 1979)

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Lived/Active: Wisconsin/New York/Massachusetts      Known for: sea-landscape, illustrator, genre

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John Pike
An example of work by John Pike
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
John Pike was a student of Charles Hawthorne and Richard Miller.  In 1933, he went to Jamaica, W.I., married and had one son.  After painting, doing advertising for the rum industry, designing stores, nightclubs, theaters and painting murals, the artist returned to this country in 1938 to exhibit.  Since then he has had over fifty four one-man shows.

After pilot training, Mr. Pike served in the Psychological Warfare Branch in Egypt and Italy.  Then to the Philippines where he transferred to the Combat Art Section, Corps of Engineers, heading the unit to record U.S. occupation of Korea in 1945. These paintings are in the Historical Properties Section of the War Department.

As a member of the Air Force Historical Foundation (1945-1960), Mr. Pike did paintings for the USAF in France, Germany, Thule Greenland, Ecuador, Columbia, Japan and Formosa.  These paintings are in the permanent collection of the USAF Academy.

He did paintings, illustrations - covers - for Colliers, Life, Fortune, True, Readers Digest, as well as advertising paintings for Alcoa, Standard Oil, National Cash Register, Equitable Life Insurance, General Tire International, etc... His paintings are in many public and private collections.

He was a member of the National Academy of Design, Salmagundi Club, Allied Artist, American Watercolor Society, Society of Illustrators, Woodstock Artist Association, Southwest Watercolor Society (Honorary), Philadelphia Watercolor Club and Grand Central Galleries.

Awards include American Watercolor Society Award, National Academy, Hallgraten Prize, Salmagundi Black and White prizes, A.W.S. "Watercolor U.S.A. Award", 1974 recipient of the National Academy "Walter Briggs Memorial Award", as well as the "Franklin Mint $5,000 Gold Metal Award" for one of twelve best American Watercolor Society prize winners for five years, 1976 top National Academy Watercolor award, the "William A. Paton Prize of $1,000", A.W.S. "The John Young Hunter Award", Academic Artists Association "The Helen Gould Kennedy Award". Invited by National Gallery of Art and NASA to be one of two official artists on Apollo Moon Shot.

Since 1966, Pike has been an instructor for "Painting Holidays" covering England, Belgium, France, Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Mexico, Jamaica, W.I., Ireland, Yugoslavia, Guatemala, New Mexico, Columbia, S.A.  He was invited to hang in the "200 Years of American Watercolor" show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, N.Y.C. Invited "Artist of the Year" at the Ohio State Fair, 1975.

While operating the John Pike Watercolor School in Woodstock, N.Y. 1960-1979, he attracted many professional artists from around the country.  The reputation of the school was such that corporations, ad agencies, etc., sent their artists for advanced study.

Source: website of the artist, http//

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A watercolorist and illustrator, John Pike was born in Winthrop, Massachusetts.  He was a student of Charles Hawthorne at Provincetown and then went to Jamaica where he was director of advertising for a rum company for five years.  Returning to the United States, he had a full career as an illustrator, painter, and exhibitor of his own watercolors.

Magazine illustration commissions included Collier's, Reader's Digest, Life, Fortune and True, and advertising work was for Lederle Labs, Alcoa, Standard Oil, and Falstaff beer.

During the Korean War, Pike was in a Combat Art section of the Corps of Engineers and headed a unit that recorded the U.S. occupation of Korea.

Memberships included the American Watercolor Society, Salmagundi Club, Society of Illustrators, National Academy of Design, and the Woodstock Art Association.  During many summers, he taught in Woodstock, New York at the John Pike Watercolor School.

Walt Reed, The Illustrator in America, 1860-2000
Peter Falk, Who Was Who in American Art

Biography from Blake Benton Fine Art, Artists P - R:
Painter and teacher, John Pike was born in Boston in 1911.  He was a student of Charles Hawthorne and Richard Miller.  In 1933 he went to Jamaica, West India, married and had one son.  After a short stint as a commercial artist, he returned to America in 1933 to work as an artist and concentrate on exhibiting his work.

His first one-man show was at the age of sixteen and was followed by over 100 others. He was noted for landscapes, fishing, snow scenes, boats, parks and harbors.  He was talented in the use of oils but preferred watercolors for their bold fresh look.  His paintings have a feeling of solitude and often contain a human element.

After serving the combat art section of the military and the Air Force Historical Foundation, he did commercial art for Colliers, Life, Fortune, Reader's Digest, as well as advertising work for Alcoa, Standard Oil, National Cash Register, General Tires and others.

He was a member of the National Academy, American Watercolor Society, Salmagundi Club, Allied Artists, Society of Illustrators, Woodstock Artists Association, Southwest Watercolor Society and Grand Central Art Galleries.

John Pike had the honor of being invited by NASA to be one of two official artists on the Apollo Moon Shot. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC invited him to exhibit in the "200 years of American Watercolor".

His paintings are in many important public and private collections. Pike was a noted art instructor who took students on painting trips around the world. His watercolor school in Woodstock, NY was considered one of the top schools for watercolor in the country.

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