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

Women on an omnibus

January 19, 2015

Tags: Cassatt, women artists, transportation

It’s hard to know why some topics fascinate us. I ride public transportation whenever I can; maybe that's why depictions of riders in a train or on an omnibus always catch my eye. For my fiction, moreover, it just seems part of world-building to know how my characters get from one place to another and how long it takes them. Mary Cassatt's In the Omnibus" reminds me of crossing the Charles River on the Red Line in Boston during the day when the cars are sometimes uncrowded. For Daumier's more typically crowded omnibus, click here.

For ANONMITY, I was delighted to find Francis Luis Mora's paintings of New York subway riders and the interior of Out of Town Trolley. (As readers of E. L. Doctorow's Ragtime know, people in this country used to be able to go between towns and cities on trolleys. And we call private automobiles progress! Ha.)

For previous posts on subway and train interiors, click here and here.

For more of prints by Mary Cassatt in the series to which this one belongs, click here.

For a painting of a woman and child among riders in an omnibus by Julie Delance-Feurgard (1859–1892), click here.