Robert Philipp

The Pink Hat


oil on canvas
24 x 20 inches
signed lower right

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Robert Philipp was born on February 2, 1895 in New York City. His name at birth was Moses Soloman Philipp. His father was born in Hamburg, Germany; he was a painter in England before moving to New York. His mother was Hungarian.

He studied with Frank Vincent DuMond and George Bridgman at the Art Students League; between 1914-1917 he studied with Volk and Maynard at the National Academy of Design. Art historians believed that he lived in Paris for ten years; unfortunately the dates of his sojourn are unknown. It is thought that he supported himself in Paris by selling paintings. He had also been a relatively successful tenor in his uncle’s opera company.

Philipp has been called “America’s Last Impressionist.” He painted diverse subject matter, genre scenes, clowns, flowers, portraits, and costal areas. He also painted scenes of the Netherlands and Paris.

Philipp received numerous awards for his paintings. In 1922 he won the third Hallgarten prize and in 1936 he won awards from the Art Institute of Chicago and Laguna Beach Art Association. He won a silver medal at the 1937 Carnegie Institute’s International Exhibition. Two years later in 1939 he won an award from IBM. He was awarded prizes from the National Academy of Design in 1947 and 1951. In 1958 he won a third place medal from the Allied Artists of America.

Philipp’s work is included in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Dallas Museum of Art, and Museum of Fine Arts Houston.

In addition to a successful professional career, Philipp also had a distinguished teaching career. During the forties, Philipp taught at the High Museum of Art, University of Illinois, Art Students League of New York, and National Academy of Design. Philipp was elected an associate of the National Academy of Design in 1935 and a full-member in 1945.

The Impressionists, particularly Renoir, influenced Philipp’s style. His early work had a more deliberate brush stroke and deeper color palate. As his career gained momentum, the commercial audience more and more determined Philipp’s compositions and subject matter.

Philipp died in New York City in 1981.

In 1985 a large retrospective of Philipp’s work was organized by the Grand Central Galleries in association with the Art Students League of New York. The exhibition included eighty paintings spanning his sixty year career.

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