Patty Thum (1853-1926)

Patty Thum
Mixed Bouquet

signed l.l.
oil on paper photo
8 1/2 by 10 1/2 inches, oval
verso, in her handwriting: a tinted photograph/ from my painting/ an over mantel piece/ 22 x 27 inches/ Patty Thum/ 622 Francis Building / Louisville, KY
In 1923, Miss Thum exhibited Over Mantel Flower Study in the Louisville Art Association Exhibition of Work by Louisville Artists at the Louisville Free Public Library.


Louisville native Patty Prather Thum was one of the most influential figures in local art from the Victorian period through the 1920s. She had a national audience thanks to popular lithographic reproductions of her flower paintings. She also helped determine the city's artistic agenda through her writings about art, primarily as a critic for the Louisville Herald.

Thum first studied art at Vassar College, then at the Art Students League with William Merritt Chase. She returned to Louisville in the 1870s and began her art career. In the 1880s she headed back to New York briefly for study with Thomas Eakins.

She exhibited in Cincinnati, St. Louis, New York and Chicago.

Thum was the subject of a landmark retrospective in 2009, Patty Thum, at the Howard Steamboat Museum in Jeffersonville, Indiana, and was represented in the ground-breaking exhibition Kentucky Women Artists: 1850-2002 in 2001-2002.