other friends hung on the walls; one of Dom Pedro, the lastemperor of Brazil, she especially liked to show to her Brazilian vis-itors. “Most have no idea who he is,” she said. “This is after heabdicated and shortly before he died—he looked very sad.” Herdesk was tucked in a far corner by the only window, also with anorth view of the harbor.At sixty-seven, Miss Bishop was striking, her short, swept-back white hair setting off an unforgettably noble face. She waswearing a black tunic shirt, gold watch and earrings, gray slacks,and flat brown Japanese sandals that made her appear shorter thanher actual height: five feet, four inches. Although she looked welland was in high spirits, she complained of having had a recent hayfever attack and declined to have her photograph taken with thewry comment, “Photographers, insurance salesmen, and funeraldirectors are the worst forms of life.”Seven or eight months later, after reading a profile I had writ-ten for
The Vassar Quarterly
(which had been based on this inter-view) and worrying that she sounded like “the soul of frivolity,”she wrote me: “I once admired an interview with Fred Astaire inwhich he refused to discuss ‘the dance,’ his partners, or his ‘career’and stuck determinedly to
—so I hope that some readers willrealize I do think about art once in a while even if babbling alonglike a very shallow brook . . .”Though Miss Bishop did have the opportunity of correctingthose portions of this interview incorporated in
article, she never saw it in this form.
Your living room seems to be a wonderful combination of theold and new. Is there a story behind any of the pieces, especiallythat figurehead? It’s quite imposing.