Robert Cottingham (b. 1935) was born in Brooklyn, New York and received his BFA degree from the Pratt Institute. He later studied art at the Arts Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. Although he is known for his photorealistic depictions of signs, storefront marquees, railroad boxcars and letter forms, Cottingham does not consider himself a photorealist artist. His imagery, while derived from the photographs he takes, expands on the photographic image, it does not replicate it.

Works by Robert Cottingham are in the collections of every important museum in the United States and Europe including the Art Institute of Chicago; the Boymans-von Beuningen Museum, Rotterdam, Netherlands; the Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, PA; the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH; the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum of Art, New York; the Hamburg Museum, Germany; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the National Academy of Design, New York; the National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC; the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA; the Tate Gallery, London, England; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. A retrospective of Robert Cottingham’s print work was organized and exhibited by the National Museum of American Art in Washington, DC in 1998. In 2016, the Butler Institute of American Art held a major, career-spanning exhibition of Cottingham’s paintings.


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