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Recent Acquisitions: Isabel Bishop, Sleeping Child, about 1935

Hood Quarterly, summer 2004

Beginning in the 1930s, Isabel Bishop captured in her art the ordinary, fleeting gestures of city inhabitants as observed on the streets and public conveyances of Manhattan. Like her fellow “Fourteenth Street School” artists, including Reginald Marsh, she used a lively, reportorial style to convey the bustling street life around this commercial downtown neighborhood. Bishop brought an especially intimate regard to her numerous images of female office workers chatting on street corners, striding confidently along the sidewalks, or stopping to pull on a coat or adjust their make-up.

In this sketch she captures an informal moment between a mother and a child whose weighty, unselfconscious pose reveals her somnolent state. In characteristic fashion, Bishop renders the figures with quick nervous lines that convincingly describe form and expression while suggesting the dynamism of urban life.

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