Hobson Pittman was born in 1900 near Epworth, North Carolina. In 1906, his family moved to Tarboro, where he studied art from 1912 to 1916 at the Rouse Art School.
In 1918, he moved to Pennsylvania to continue his studies at Pennsylvania State College and Carnegie Institute. He later studied at Woodstock, New York, and in Europe in 1928.
He exhibited extensively at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.
He was a renowned teacher at various institutions including the Pennsylvania State University, Philadelphia Museum School, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and Bryn Mawr College.
Pittman was honored with a retrospective exhibition at the North Carolina Museum of Art in 1963, at the Pennsylvania State University, after his death in 1972; and at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1973.
The artist's work may be found in many public collections, some of which are the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Butler Institute of American Art.