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.

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

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Picturing a World

Labor Day

September 1, 2014

Tags: Bellows, Henri, Sloan, publishing, workers

If you write historical fiction set in Progressive-Era New York City, there is a good argument for setting it a little later than 1908. The Masses, for instance, began publication in January 1911; and the great suffragist parades were staged in New York City in 1912 and Washington, D.C. in 1913 (with Inez Milholland on horseback). In 1908, however, the ideas, unrest, and hope for a better future that blazed out in the coming years were already stirring. To help me imagine what they felt and looked like from 1900 through World War I, I’ve just discovered a wonderful resource, The Modernist Journals Project from Brown University and The University of Tulsa. It supplied this iconic cover—and has complete digitized issues of several important magazines of the period. (more…)

John Sloan as Trilby

July 31, 2014

Tags: Ashcan School, Sloan, Trilby

What can I say? You can’t help loving it when two enthusiasms overlap so wackily. The novel Trilby by George Du Maurier was a bestseller in the 1890’s. Known to all art students in Paris—and evidently, Philadelphia!—it is a wonderful source for (more…)