JOHN BANNON began art studies in Baltimore where he attended Saturday classes at The Maryland Institute of Art from the age of eight through high school under the tutelage of Ann Schuler, Betty Wells, and others. At age seventeen his drawing and painting skills were recognized with a four-year scholarship to college level of The Maryland Institute. He graduated with a BFA degree and the Henry Walters prize. The University of Pennsylvania awarded him a year’s graduate credit and advanced standing culminating in 1960 with an MFA in the History and Practice of Painting.
For twelve years Bannon was a student, assistant, and protégé of M. Jacques Maroger, former technical director of the Louvre laboratories, distinguished painter, and expert in the drawing and painting techniques of the old masters. Bannon was his assistant teaching artistic anatomy and in reconstructing the lost painting formulas of the Renaissance and Baroque masters.
John Bannon has exhibited and taught art for more than fifty years in the US and abroad, and had more than 40 solo exhibitions. In the sixties Bannon was co-founder and exhibiting artist of The Six Realists Gallery of Baltimore which received wide acclaim for what was then a defiant stand for traditional art. In 1970 he was a co-founder of The Dorchester Art Center which still flourishes in Cambridge Maryland.
Among his many awards are purchase prizes for the permanent collections of the following prestigious institutions: The Pennsylvania Academy, Philadelphia, PA; The Corcoran Gallery, Washington, DC; The Easton Academy of Art, Easton, MD.
In addition, his artworks are in the distinguished collections of: The Pentagon, Arlington, VA; The Heritage Foundation, Washington, DC; The Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, Hagerstown MD; The Midwest Museum of American Art, Elkhart, IN; The University of Maryland UMUC Collection; The Superior Court, Washington, DC; The Dan Daniel Distribution Center, Newport News, VA; The St. George Association, New York, NY; and many others.
John Bannon has painted commissioned portraits of Pope John XXIII; General and Chief of Staff George C. Marshall; Senator Charles Mac Mathias; Congressman Dan Daniel; Congressman Bill Nichols; Abbot Paul Namaan; Conductor Reginald Stewart; and many other prominent men and women.
His home and studio are in a wooded, historic Virginia suburb of Washington, where he continues to paint landscapes, still life, and portraits, in the great tradition of western art.