Born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1902, Bishop is best known for her graphic art, although she has also worked as a painter. She arrived in New York City in 1918 at the age of sixteen and studied illustration at the New York School of Applied Design for Women from 1918 to 1920. For the next four years, she took classes at the Art Students League and in 1934, she married and moved to Riverdale.
As a member of New York's 14th Street School, Bishop maintained a studio on Union Square near 14th Street until 1984. In the late 1920s to the mid 1930s, her work depicted the down-and- out working class of that area. From 1936 to 1937, she taught as the sole female full-time instructor at the Art Students League and also at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.
Bishop received an American Academy of Arts and Letters award in 1943 and an award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts presented by President Jimmy Carter in 1979. Bishop has also been the recipient of several honorary doctorates. She served as the vice-president of the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1946.