Robert Philipp was born in New York City, and received his art training there at the Art Students League with Frank Vincent DuMond and George Bridgman from 1910 to 1914. He also studied at the National Academy of Design from 1914 to 1917.
Philipp became successful as a painter at an early age, and was well appreciated in his lifetime. He was well-known as a portrait, figure and still life painter; he painted celebrities, nudes, even landscapes. Philipp was married to artist Shelby Post, and often used her as his model.
Philipp taught art throughout his career, teaching at the High Museum of Art in 1946, the University of Illinois in 1940, the Art Students League from 1948 to 1973 and the National Academy of Design from 1950 to 1975. He was a member of the Lotus Club, the National Academy of Design ad the Royal Society of Art, London. Philipp’s works can be found in the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Columbus Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the WhitneyMuseum of Art.