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Philip Pearlstein papers, circa 1940-2008

Biographical Note

Philip Pearlstein (1924- ) is a painter and educator based in New York, N.Y.
Pearlstein was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and he attended classes at the Carnegie Museum of Art as a child. While still in high school, his paintings were reproduced in Life magazine after winning Scholastic magazine's high school art competition. After graduating from high school Pearlstein enrolled in the Carnegie Institute of Technology's (CIT) art school, but left after a year to serve in the Army during World War II. He gained knowledge of printing, drafting, and sign painting while stationed in Florida and Italy. After the war he returned to CIT as a student and became art editor of the engineering school's Carnegie Technical magazine. During this time Pearlstein met his wife, Dorothy Cantor, and became close friends with Andy Warhol, both classmates at CIT. Pearlstein moved to New York City with Warhol after receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1949. In 1955, he completed his thesis on Francis Picabia and received a Master of Arts in art history from New York University's Institute of Fine Arts.
As Pearlstein's career evolved, he became known for his realistic nudes and landscapes. Many of Pearlstein's paintings were inspired by his travels to the western United States, Peru, Egypt, and to Italy as a 1958 Fulbright Grant recipient. His work has been exhibited throughout the United States and internationally, and he has worked closely with the Tanager and Alan Frumkin Galleries in New York. In addition to his painting career, Pearlstein was an instructor at Pratt Institute from 1959 to 1963 and at Brooklyn College from 1963 to 1988. He is also a member of the National Academy of Design and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, serving as president from 2003 to 2006.
Pearlstein continues to work and live in New York, N.Y.