Katherine Keenum

A blog about how paintings, photographs, and prints have helped me visualize my fiction—both Where the Light Falls and works-in-progress—with a hope that they will stimulate other writers and readers, too.

A small sample of the images that inspired me appears below. Click on these or any images in the posts to see enlargements. In the text, click on colored words to activate links.

Selected Works

An American woman art student meets a Civil War veteran in Belle Époque Paris.


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Picturing a World

Joan Carlile at the Tate

September 25, 2016

Tags: women artists

Blog tip: A portrait of a woman by artist Joan Carlile, ca. 1650, has been purchased by Tate Britain in London. Read more at the History Blog post, Tate acquires its earliest portrait by woman artist.

Stenographer or reporter?

September 19, 2016

Tags: Mattie, work-in-progress, offices, illustration, magazine, work-in-progress, publishing

Mattie Palmer, the heroine of ANONYMITY, my work-in-progress, is a “stenographer” or secretary in a publishing firm. Before going to New York around 1900, she had been a reporter in Cincinnati.

So far, I haven’t been able to find the short story, “A Girl Who Became a Reporter,” for which this is an illustration; (more…)

Clipping services

September 15, 2016

Tags: work-in-progress

A minor plot turn early in ANONYMITY could be most easily handled if clipping services existed in 1908. They did! A Londoner named Henry Romeike seems to have begun the first one ca. 1880, and the idea rapidly spread. At first, they tended to be cottage industries; but soon companies were hiring readers, mostly women, (more…)

Laura Johnson Knight

September 1, 2016

Tags: women artists

Website tip: A recent post at It’s About Time introduced me to English artist Laura Johnson Knight

As summer nears its end, this image from 1908, the year my current work-in-progress is set, overlaps nicely with my continuing interest (more…)