Born in Philadelphia to a prominent family, Adolphe Borie studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts from 1895 to 1899, with William Merritt Chase and Thomas Anshutz, and then at the Royal Academy of Munich from 1899 to 1902 with Carl Marr. While in Europe he frequently visited Paris, where he was influenced by both French Impressionism and Paris Modernism.
Along with his contemporaries such as Arthur B. Carles (1882- 1952) and Henry McCarter (1864 -1942), he was among the Philadelphia artists to rebel against the Academy traditions established by Thomas Eakins (1844 -1916) and to introduce Modern Art to the city. Borie achieved success with his portraits, the sale of which would support him throughout his life. He won the Carol Beck Gold Medal for portraiture from the Pennsylvania Academy in 1910, which was followed by numerous other prestigious awards.
He became a fellow of the Academy as well as a member of the National Society of Portrait Painters, the Art Club of Philadelphia, and the National Academy of Design in New York. His work is owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
Although he was best known for portraiture, still- lives, landscapes, and other subjects of Borie's came to light during his memorial exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (January 26 -March 4, 1935). More recently, the Peale House Galleries in Philadelphia exhibited forty five of his paintings from the collection of his son Peter (April 9 - May 2, 1986).