National Academy of Design
Cottingham studied at Pratt Institute in New York, graduating with Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1963.
During the early 1960's, Robert Cottingham started to work as an art director for the advertising firm "Young and Rubicam". In 1964, Robert left for Los Angeles, where he became a full-time artist. In 1969, he was appointed a teacher at the Art Center College of Design, a post he held till 1970. In 1971, the artist held his first solo exhibition at the O.K. Harris Gallery in New York.
During the period from 1972 to 1976, Cottingham lived in London. Some time later, he returned to the United States to settle down in rural Connecticut. In the late 1980's and early 1990's, Robert included trains and railroad imagery in his work. Later, he focused on images of vintage typewriters. Since 1987 to 1992, Cottingham was the artist in residence at the Wesleyan University in Middletown. In 1991, he taught at the National Academy of Design in New York.
Currently, the artist serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut.
Cottingham never considered himself a Photorealist, but rather a realist painter, working in a long tradition of American vernacular scenes.
Cottingham married Jane Marie Weismann on December 23, 1967. The couple gave birth to three children — Reid Ann, Molly Jane and Kyle Annie Bliss.