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

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

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Picturing a World

Whistler's Cloud cabinet

October 1, 2018

Tags: Whistler, World's Fair

To prepare for my September 27th talk on Where the Light Falls and Prevention’s list of 55 Happy Books Proven to Boost Your Mood, I reread my novel and found myself wondering what images might be available now that were not when I was researching. Well, this one is splendid! I had used written descriptions of the yellow-and-gold room that Whistler designed for the Paris World’s Fair of 1878, the room that makes Jeanette long to move from drawing to painting, the room that inspires Cousin Effie to cut free from New York decorum in thinking about interior fashions. (more…)

Venice

May 12, 2014

Tags: Emily, Jeanette, Robbie, Venice, Whistler, Winkie

Originally, I meant for the Dolsons just to vanish. People do (or did before the internet) and Jeanette’s circle of friends in Paris must inevitably break apart. Novels, however, make demands their own. When I reread my almost completed (more…)

Whistler's Peacock Room

February 15, 2013

Tags: Whistler, World's Fair

I can't resist an out-of-sequence post. A website has just come to my attention that helps wonderfully in visualizing the gold room that James MacNeil Whistler decorated for the 1878 World's Fair, the room that so overwhelms Cousin Effie. The post for February 14, 2013, at Britain's National Trust blog, Treasure Hunt, concerns "The Peacock Room," designed in London by Whistler in 1876. Even that short post provides a glimpse Whistler's decorative taste. Best of all for Where the Light Falls, it alerted me to The Story of the Beautiful, a website that includes a virtual tour of the Peacock Room as it was first installed in London and later in Detroit. Visit and then use your imagination to create a room at the World's Fair!