Elizabeth Bishop Paints

“Pansies” Gouache and graphite on paper, 15 ” x 12 ¼” , 1960. Bishop’s largest and most finished recorded painting.

Photo of Elizabeth Bishop for review of Edgar Allan Poe and the Juke-Box. Photo by Joseph Breitenbach

When the prominent poet Elizabeth Bishop died in 1979 her long time partner and executor Alice Methfessel unearthed a collection of 11 paintings and 2 assemblages that were done by Bishop between 1934-1978. 


The work spans much of Bishop’s adult life,  Bishop “worked as a painter as well as a poet, and her verse, like visual art, is known for its ability to capture significant scenes.”

Methfessel, who Bishop also dedicated her last book Geography III to, died in 2009 and the collection is now being offered by James Jaffe Rare Books.
“Red Flowers on Black” 6” x 9”  



“Sleeping Figure”. 5 5/8” x 8 5/8”, circa 1935-1940. portrait of Bishop’s friend and lover Louise Crane


“41 Charles Street”. 6 7/8″ wide x 8 1/4″ high]


“Tea Service”.10” x 8”  


“County Courthouse”. 6 ¾” x 5 ¾”, circa 1938


“Olivia”. 6 ” x 5” A little wooden church on Olivia Street in Key West not far from Bishop’s home


An introduction and slideshow to the collection can be seen here.
The paintings range from $25,000 – $50,000 each and are available through Biblio

This post first appeared on Bibliology


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