This suite gathers the best of Isabel Bishop’s “lost” etchings. Created over three decades, the plates were worked to varying degrees of completion, put aside, and forgotten. They were uncovered in 1983 when Bishop finally dismantled the Union Square studio she occupied for so many years.
Like most of Isabel Bishop’s graphic work, these were printed in editions by master printer Stephen Sholinsky. (Bishop proofed her own plates only sporadically, never completing intended editions.) Each of these prints bears Sholinsky’s embossed chop in the lower right margin, and Bishop’s pencil signature below the image.
The edition of Eight Etchings, 1930–1959 includes 50 numbered impressions of each image. There are 10 more signed proofs of each image, marked as printer’s proofs, BAT, etc.
One set is marked “Whitney Proof” on each etching, and is held in that Museum.
The set we are offering is in exceptionally good condition. There is no trace of mat burn, light damage, hinge remnants, or any other evidence that these were ever displayed.
Each print is placed in a folded sheet of the same heavy Rives paper. Two more folded sheets bear the letterpressed title page, the foreword by Sylvan Cole, the list of images, and publication data. This last page is also pencil numbered and signed by Bishop. These loose signatures are gathered into a beautiful, sturdy, archival, clamshell box. The box measures 11 ½” x 14 ½” x 1 ⅛”. It is covered in warm grey cloth, with gold-stamped type.
Altogether, this package is a joy to peruse. The owner can safely hold and directly view each etching, without ever touching it. The format is also ideal for libraries and university art collections with limited archive capacity, as these original works are contained and protected in such compact form.
Framing or other display presents no challenge, since all sheets are gathered but not bound.