John Pike

JOHN PIKE 1911-1979 †

John Pike was a student of Charles Hawthorne and Richard Miller. In 1933 he went to Jamaica, W.I., married, and had one son. He returned to the United States in 1938 to exhibit after painting murals, doing advertising for the rum industry, and designing stores, nightclubs, and theaters in Jamaica.

After completion of pilot training in the military, Mr. Pike served in the Psychological Warfare Branch in Egypt and Italy. Then he was shipped to the Philippines where he transferred to the Combat Art Section, Corps of Engineers, as head of the unit given the job of recording U.S. occupation of Korea in 1945. The resulting 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 also did paintings, illustrations, and covers for Colliers, Life, Fortune, True, and Readers Digest; and 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.

His awards include the 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 Medal Award” for being 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”. He was also invited by the National Gallery of Art and NASA to be one of two official artists on the Apollo Moon Shot. He was invited as the “Artist of the Year” at the Ohio State Fair, 1975, and was also invited to hang in the “200 Years of American Watercolor” show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, N.Y.C.

Beginning in 1966, he was the instructor for “Painting Holidays” covering England, Belgium, France, Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Mexico, Jamaica, W.I., Ireland, Yugoslavia, Guatemala, New Mexico, and Columbia, S.A..

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. At the time of his death in 1979 he had done over sixty one-man shows.