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Robert Cottingham was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1935 and received his B.F.A. from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY. Cottingham is best known for his photo-realistic paintings of signs, storefront marquees, railroad boxcars, letterforms, and recently, cameras and typewriters. He held his first solo show in New York City at the O.K. Harris Gallery in 1971. He has also exhibited in many seminal group shows throughout the United States, France, and Germany. A retrospective exhibition of prints by Robert Cottingham traveled from 1986 through 1991 to thirteen national venues including the Nelson-Atkins in Kansas City, MO; the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; and the Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London, Connecticut. In 1993, Cottingham began his ambitious project, An American Alphabet, completing twenty-six canvases in three years, as well as a corresponding series of watercolors and drawings.


Another retrospective of Cottingham’s print media work took place in 1998 at what is now known as The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC. Robert Cottingham’s work can be found in the following public collections – the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.; the National Academy of Design, New York; the Orlando Museum of Art, Florida; the Seavest Collection of Contemporary American Realism, University of Virginia Art Museum.

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