Born in 1939 in a rural environment in Upstate New York, Bob Conge was introduced to painting while studying in the School of Art at Rochester Institute of Technology. After graduating in 1962, he continued his studies in the College of Art at Syracuse University where he received his MFA degree in painting in 1964.
During the summers of 1964 and 1965 Conge was the director of the J. Thomas Gallery in Provincetown, MA.
In the fall of 1964, Conge was awarded a Louis Comfort Tiffany grant for painting. Also in 1964, he returned to Rochester Institute of Technology as a full time assistant professor where he taught in the School of Art through 1968.
From the fall of 1968 through 1969, Conge was the director of a Title III Project for the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester.