Biography

John Pierce Barnes was born in Philadelphia in 1893. He graduated from high school in the Germantown area of Philadelphia and served in the U.S. Navy during the First World War.

After his discharge from the Navy, John began his training at the Philadelphia School of Industrial Design, now the University of the Arts. Barnes then studied at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia from 1921-1925. He exhibited watercolors and pastels in the Annual Philadelphia Water Color and Miniature Exhibitions of 1921 and 1922.

John Pierce Barnes studied with Daniel Garber, and also Henry Hugh Breckenridge and Arthur B. Carles at the PAFA. He was awarded Cresson Travel Scholarships in 1923 and 1924. These awards enabled him to study in France, Belgium and Holland.

John Pierce Barnes experimented in several styles, but is best known for his oil paintings of landscapes and portraits rendered in the Impressionist style. Some of his work was painted in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, some in Europe, but mostly in eastern Pennsylvania.

Up until the time of his death in 1954, Mr. Barnes was employed by the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) Victor Design Division in Camden, New Jersey. He is credited with designing a past RCA logo as well as the GE (General Electric) logo still in use today.