When more than one artist works consistently with a particular subject matter or locale and within the confines of style, the group, however small in number, is sometimes referred to as a school. Thus the label "Fourteenth Street School" is often applied to the work of Isabel Bishop; Kenneth Hayes Miller, her teacher at the Art Students League; and Reginald Marsh, another of Miller's students. Although on the surface these three artists can be described as having similar methods and concerns, it would be unfair to neglect the differences behind their similarities.

All three are realists in the tradition of the Italian Renaissance, Miller being closest to that tradition in the formal monumentality of his work. Marsh is perhaps furthest from it in the relentless documentation of the seamy side of life. Isabel Bishop, in contrast, observes closely but always with a warm empathy toward her subject. There is in all her work an atmosphere - a quality of light that envelopes her subjects - which is uniquely hers. It is not the light of the street or of the studio but it is a light that establishes an ideal environment for the artist's sympathetic investigation of the subject.