Richard Evett Bishop (American 1887 – 1975)

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Pair of grouse: oil on canvas, 14.5 x 9.75 inches / signed lower right

Richard Evett Bishop was born in Syracuse, New York and first studied electrical engineering at Cornell University (Ithaca, NY). In 1909 he joined the Cutler-Hammer Manufacturing Company in Milwaukee, Minnesota as an electrical engineer. 19th century artist Richard Evett Bishop was a captain in the Army’s chemical warfare service during World War I, and after the war he moved to Mt. Airy near Philadelphia, Pa., where he was employed in a products manufacturing plant in copper. From a lark Bishop one day took a worn copper printing plate, covered it with wax, and, using a phonograph needle, made his first engraving. It was the start of his artistic career, although he remained in the manufacturing plant until 1933, when he resigned to devote himself to art full time. He took classes at the Philadelphia Graphic Sketch Club. Since he was young he has had a passion for waterfowl hunting, so it’s no surprise that Bishop chose eastern game birds as his favorite subject. In 1924, his “Canada Geese” won the Charles M. Lea Prize from the Philadelphia Print Club. This was only the beginning of his recognition as an animal engraver and oil painter. In 1936, JN Darling of the US Biological Survey asked if Bishop would allow the use of his Canada Geese drypoint, “Coming In,” for the Third Federal Duck Stamp. The same year he published Bishop’s Birds (JB Lippincott). During World War II, Bishop became chief and then deputy director of the production division of the War Production Board in Philadelphia. After the war Bishop provided the illustrations for Prairie Wings by Edgar Queney (Ducks Unlimited, 1946). In 1950 and 1953, he organized two African safaris, sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History (NYC) to record native birds and animals on film and soundtrack. In addition to his travels in Africa, Bishop travels across North and South America, the United Kingdom, and the Pacific Islands. Bishop photographed birds using single-lens photographs and high-speed cameras to capture their graceful movements. He used the photographs as references for his meticulously detailed paintings. Bishop was a member of the Print Club of Philadelphia, Chicago Society of Etchers, Philadelphia Society of Etchers, Society of American Etchers, Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia Watercolor Club, Philadelphia Art Alliance, and California Printmakers.


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