Philip Pearlstein was born in Pittsburgh, PA in 1924. He received a BFA from Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1949 and an MA from NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts in 1955. That same year he had his first solo show at Tanager Gallery.
Among Pearlstein's honours are a National Endowment for the Arts grant, 1968; a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, 1969; and election to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, 1982, for which he served as President from 2003 – 2006; and recently the Icon Award in the Arts from the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT. Honorary Doctorates received from: Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, 1983; Brooklyn College, Brooklyn; College of Art & Design, Detroit; New York Academy of Arts, New York; and Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, Old Lyme. Currently, he lives and works in New York City.
Pearlstein’s work can be seen in a host of prestigious collections in the United States, most notably: The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland; de Young Museum, San Francisco; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington DC; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Morgan Library and Museum, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington DC; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia; Portland Museum of Art, Portland; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.