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Isabel Bishop Portrait

Isabel Bishop Portrait

Isabel Bishop

Also Known as: Mrs.I. B. Wolff, Mrs.Harold G. Wolff

Cincinnati, Ohio 1902

New York, New York 1988

Photo Caption:
Guy Pene du Bois, Portrait of Isabel Bishop, 1924, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum,Bequest of Edith S. and Arthur J. Levin 2005.5.60.

Photo Caption:
Isabel Bishop, Peter A. Juley & Son Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum J0001217

Luce Artist Quote

“What I ask of a painting is that it speaks back to me---if it doesn’t, it’s no good and I have to start again.” The artist, quoted in Lunde, Isabel Bishop, 1975


Painter and printmaker. Her preferred subjects were nudes, interiors, and urban landscapes—often Union Square in New York City—inhabited by shoppers and working people. She was a member of the Fourteenth Street School of social realist painters, which included Kenneth Hayes Miller, Reginald Marsh, Morris Kantor, and Moses and Raphael Soyer.

Joan Stahl American Artists in Photographic Portraits from the Peter A. Juley & Son Collection (Washington, D.C. and Mineola, New York: National Museum of American Art and Dover Publications, Inc., 1995)

Additional Biographies

Luce Artist Biography

Isabel Bishop moved to New York in 1918 hoping to become an illustrator. But she loved the energy and artistic life of the city, and rather than take commissions from others, she decided to paint her own experiences. Bishop established a studio in Union Square in Manhattan, and worked there for the rest of her life, commuting every day from her home in Riverdale. She created paintings that show the ebb and flow of life on the streets of New York as seen from her fourth-story window. Her images capture fleeting moments of people walking and chatting, which she described as “never heroic, never in the ‘grand manner.’” (Lunde, Isabel Bishop, 1975)