Philip Pearlstein was born in Pittsburgh, PA, in 1924. In 1941, his junior year in high school, he received his first recognition when awarded first and third prizes in Scholastic Magazine’s 14th National High School Art Exhibition. Upon graduation from high school in 1942, he enrolled in the Carnegie Institute of Technology but the draft limited his attendance to one year. After discharge from the army in 1946, he returned to Carnegie Tech where he received his BFA in 1949. Upon graduation, he moved to New York City where he pursued work in graphic design and received a Master’s degree in art history from New York University in 1955.
Pearlstein worked as a graphic designer for Life Magazine before becoming an instructor at the Pratt Institute, and then a professor at Brooklyn College; he has also served as a visiting artist at several prestigious institutions throughout the country. His work has been exhibited in several solo exhibitions throughout the United States with paintings in the collections of over 70 public art museums. Pearlstein served as a President of the American Academy of Arts and Letters from 2003-2006 and currently lives and works in New York.