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Contents and Arrangement | A Finding Aid to the Isabel Bishop papers, 1914-1983 | Digitized Collection

Isabel Bishop papers, 1914-1983

Contents and Arrangement

The collection is arranged into 7 series:

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Series 1: Biographical Material, 1943-1975
4 folders
Box 1

Scattered biographical material about Isabel Bishop includes two biographical summaries, one from the book
Outstanding Women Artists of America
, published in 1975, and awards, including one from the National Institute of Arts & Letters. Also found are Bishop's studio guest book signed by visitors and file of material regarding her participation in art juries. This art jury file includes photographs of jury members, news clippings about the events, and one letter regarding her participation.
Items are arranged chronologically within each folder.
This series has been scanned in its entirety.
DescriptionContainer
Biographical Summaries, circa 1957, 1975
1
1
Awards, 1943-1944, 1954
1
2
Isabel Bishop Studio Guest Book, 1961
1
3
Art Jury Participation File, 1948-1956
1
4

Series 2: Correspondence, 1939-1983
0.6 linear feet
Box 1

Isabel Bishop's correspondence spans over forty years, with the bulk of it dating between 1960 and 1973. Letters found here are both personal and professional. There are separate files of correspondence with artists Warren Chappell, R. B. Kitaj, and Edward Laning, poet John Canaday and his wife Katherine, and physicist John M. Frankland. Over half of the letters to Bishop from Warren Chappell are illustrated.
Bishop's chronological general correspondence primarily consists of incoming letters, with a few outgoing letters. Bishop was friends with many artists and cultural figures and her correspondence includes letters to and from artists such as John Taylor Arms, Peggy Bacon, Peter Blume, Warren Chappell, Sidney Delevante, Edwin Dickinson, Philip Evergood, John Folinsbee, Malvina Hoffman, Jo Hopper, James Kearns, Leon Kroll, Clare Leighton, Jack Levine, Alice Neel, Hobson Pittman, Fairfield Porter, Abraham Rattner, Katherine Schmidt, Henry Schnakenberg, Raphael Soyer, George Tooker, Stuyvesant Van Veen, Franklin Watkins, Mahonri Young, and William Zorach. Bishop also corresponded with poets, authors, historians, and dancers, such as Van Wyck Brooks, John Ciardi, Merce Cunningham, Babette Deutsch, Edna Ferber, Richmond Lattimore, Marianne Moore, Lewis Mumford, Kurt Vonnegut, and Glenway Westcott. There are also letters from many galleries, museums, and schools which exhibited or purchased her work, including Juliana Force and Una Johnson, and art organizations.
This series has been scanned in its entirety.
DescriptionContainer
Undated Correspondence with Warren Chappell, circa 1966-1983
1
9
Correspondence with John & Katherine Canaday, 1964-1980
1
5
Correspondence with Warren Chappell, 1941-1949, 1966-1983
(3 folders)
1
6-8
Correspondence with John M. Frankland, 1976-1980
1
10
Correspondence with R. B. Kitaj, 1974-1984
1
11
Correspondence with Edward Laning, 1943-1980
1
12
General Correspondence, 1939-1983
(13 folders)
1
13-25
Undated General Correspondence, circa 1939-1983
1
26

Series 3: Organization Files, 1924-1937, 1951-1952
0.2 linear feet
Box 1

This series contains files or records of arts organizations in which Bishop participated, including the American Society of Painters, Sculptors, and Gravers and the New Society of Artists. The files contain a variety of materials, such as a constitution, lists of members, various receipts and bills, a dues ledger, and price lists. Note that her role as an officer in the National Institute of Arts and Letters is not documented here. Bishop's file on UNESCO includes documents regarding her participation in the 1952 International Conference of Artists and contains agendas, reports, notes on panels, and other documents.
Items are arranged chronologically within each folder.
This series has been scanned in its entirety.
DescriptionContainer
American Society of Painters, Sculptors, and Gravers
Administrative, Membership & Financial Records, 1930-1935
1
27
Membership Ledger, 1930-1937
1
28
New Society of Artists
Membership Records, 1928-1930
1
29
Price List, 1930
1
30
Financial Documents, 1924-1930
1
31
Accounts Ledger, 1924-1931
1
32
Deposits Ledger, 1926-1929
1
33
UNESCO, Conference Materials, 1951-1952
1
34

Series 4: Writings & Notes, 1937-1960s
4 folders
Box 1

This series contains Isabel Bishop's scattered writings and notes. Included are two essays she wrote about her friend and artist Reginald Marsh as well as her research notes for a post office mural, commissioned by New Lexington, Kentucky. Other miscellaneous writings include a brief essay about artist Warren Chappell, notes for lectures on art, and various writing fragments and notes. Also found is an essay on religion by Bishop's mother.
This series has been scanned in its entirety.
DescriptionContainer
Writings about Reginald Marsh, 1950s, 1956
1
35
Research Notes for Post Office Mural, New Lexington, Kentucky, 1937
1
36
Miscellaneous Writings & Notes, circa 1940s-1960s
1
37
Essay by Anna Newbold Bishop (Isabel Bishop's mother), undated
1
38

Series 5: Printed Material, 1930-1979
0.6 linear feet
Box 2

Found here are exhibition catalogs and announcements for Bishop's solo and group shows, including a typescript of a catalog for a Russian exhibition, "Representations of America." News clippings, magazines, and journals contain articles about Bishop, her artwork, exhibitions and other art events. A few of these articles were written by Bishop. Also found is a design by G. Alan Chidsey for the book,
Isabel Bishop
, which contains excerpts from articles and reproductions of her artwork.
Items within each folder are arranged chronologically.
The bulk of this series has been scanned.
DescriptionContainer
Exhibition Catalogs, 1936-1976
(6 folders)
2
1-6
Exhibition Catalog, "Representations of America", (Typescript), 1978
(Not scanned)
2
7
Exhibition Announcements, 1942-1974
2
8
News Clippings, 1933-1976
2
9
Magazines & Journals, 1930-1977
(5 folders)
2
10-14
Booklets, 1973-1979
2
15
Book Design for
Isabel Bishop
, circa 1940
2
16
Miscellaneous Printed Material, circa 1951-1975
2
17

Series 6: Photographs, 1914, circa 1920s-1975
0.2 linear feet
Box 2, OV 5

This series contains photographs of Isabel Bishop and her artwork. Included is circa 1943 photograph of Bishop with husband Harold Wolff and son Remsen, as well as several photographs of her painting in her studio and one photograph of her with Homer Saint-Gaudens, director of the art museum of the Carnegie Institute. Also found are three photographs of Harold Wolff and a photographs of Bishop's friend Reginald Marsh, including a photograph of him with his wife Felicia, in his studio, and receiving an award from Isabel Bishop at the American Academy of Arts & Letters. This series also contains many photographs of Bishop's artwork. Most of the photographs of artwork are annotated on the back with provenance information.
Most of the photographs of artwork have not been scanned.
DescriptionContainer
Photographs of Isabel Bishop and Harold Wolff, 1914, circa 1920s, 1943, 1953
2
18
Photographs of Isabel Bishop in Her Studio, circa 1957, 1975
2
19
Photograph of Isabel Bishop and Homer Saint-Gaudens, 1950s
2
20
Photographs of Reginald Marsh, circa 1934, 1950, 1954
2
21
Photographs of Artwork, circa 1950s-1960s
(3 folders; not scanned; see also OV 5)
2
22-24
Oversize Photographs of Artwork, circa 1950s-1960s
(Not scanned; See also box 2, folders 22-24)
OV 5

Series 7: Artwork, circa 1940s-1970s
0.4 linear feet
Box 2-4, OV 5

Studies and sketches by Isabel Bishop include several intaglio prints of figures walking on the street, numerous small pen sketches for the painting
Subway Scene
, loose sketches of figures, and eight small sketchbooks containing pen and pencil drawings of people and places. Also found is a watercolor sketch of a figure painted on a small gessoed board. At some point a watercolor sketch on paper of a different figure was wrapped around this board; for preservation, these have been separated. The collection also contains a watercolor sketch portrait of a woman on a gessoed board and a "study for nude" watercolor sketch on canvas. This painting has many large tears in the canvas and it was possibly destroyed by Bishop at some point after she painted it. Also found is a pencil drawing of Isabel Bishop by Aaron Bohrod, signed, "To Isabel Bishop with apologies of Aaron Bohrod."
DescriptionContainer
Intaglio Prints, circa 1970s
(See Box 4)
2
25
Watercolor Sketch on Gessoed Board (Small), undated
2
26
Watercolor Sketch on Paper (originally wrapped around board), undated
3 (pam)
1
Watercolor Sketch on Gessoed Board (Large), undated
(See Box 4)
3 (pam)
2
Watercolor Sketch on Gessoed Canvas (Damaged), undated
(See Box 4)
3 (pam)
3
Sketches for "Gum Machine" in the Finished Painting
Subway Scene
, circa 1956
3 (pam)
4
Loose Sketches, circa 1940s-1950s
(See also OV 5)
3 (pam)
5
Sketchbooks, circa 1950s
(3 folders)
3 (pam)
6-8
Drawing of Isabel Bishop by Aaron Bohrod, circa 1950s
3 (pam)
9
Oversize Intaglio Prints, circa 1970s
(See also box 2, folder 25)
4 (sol)
Oversize Watercolor Sketch on Gessoed Board (Large), undated
(See also box 3, folder 2)
4 (sol)
Oversize Watercolor Sketch on Gessoed Canvas (Damaged), undated
(See also box 3, folder 3)
4 (sol)
Oversize Loose Sketches, circa 1940s-1950s
(See also box 3, folder 5)
OV 5

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.