Urgent Museum Notice

Men and Girls Walking

Close up of Men and Girls Walking

Print of men and women moving through space. Their black and white figures blend into the environment, with patches of light and shadow on their clothing flattening space. Some wear hats, others carry jackets slung over their shoulders, each moving in their own direction.

Isabel Bishop, Men and Girls Walking, 1969; Aquatint on paper, 13 1/2 x 17 1/2 in.; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Edward P. Levy; © The Estate of Isabel Bishop. Courtesy of DC Moore Gallery, New York

Men and Girls Walking
Isabel Bishop

In 1918, at age 16, Isabel Bishop moved from Detroit to New York and enrolled at the New York School of Applied Design for Women with the intention of studying illustration. Two years later, she transferred to The Art Students League of New York, where she studied painting until 1924. She instructors Guy Pène du Bois and Kenneth Hayes Miller encouraged her study of classical art.

Bishop felt that 17th-century Baroque art had the greatest influence on her work, particularly the work of Peter Paul Rubens. His figures blended with their backgrounds and gave the impression of realistic movement. She once commented, “Everything I have tried to do is Baroque…The essence of the baroque style to me is continuity, a seamless web.”

Nowhere is Bishop’s attempt to unify figure and ground more obvious than in her famous walking studies from the 1960s through 1980s, such as Men and Girls Walking. During that time, Bishop produced etchings and paintings of people passing on the street, fused with their environments to form cohesive compositions.

Artwork Details

  • Artist

    Isabel Bishop
  • Title

    Men and Girls Walking
  • Date

  • Medium

    Aquatint on paper
  • Dimensions

    8 3/8 x 11 1/2 in.
  • Donor Credit

    Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Edward P. Levy
  • Photo Credit

    © The Estate of Isabel Bishop. Courtesy of DC Moore Gallery, New York
  • On Display