Saturday, May 7, 2011

Saturday's postcard: Canterbury Cathedral by Elmer Keene

Click on postcard for larger image.

This undated, unused postcard features a painting of Canterbury Cathedral1 in South East England.

The postcard is part of the "Chic" Series by Charles Worcester & Co. of Bristol, England.

According to to the Metropolitan Postcard Club of New York City website, Charles Worcester & Co. was established in 1904 and was "a publisher of postcards issued under the Chic Series name. This included views presented as line drawings, in sepia monotone, and most dramatically as hand colored real photo cards of pale moonlit scenes by the artist Elmer Keene."

This Canterbury Cathedral postcard was one of Keene's works.2 (You can see his name scrawled in tiny letters in the lower-left corner.)

Keene lived from 1853 to 1929. Here is an excerpt from his in-depth biography on Leicester Chronicler:
Keene painted a variety of landscapes including many marine subjects although he lived in the English county furthest from the sea. He was able to earn a living by painting for his many local patrons, so rarely exhibited, but in 1895 he did exhibit one painting at the Royal Academy, a view of Burneston Bay3 in Yorkshire. He painted moonlit views of a wide variety of landscape subjects including the English lakes, including Buttermere, Coniston and Windermere, and distinctive buildings such as Holyrood Palace, Melrose Abbey and Warwick Castle, as well as more distant locations in other countries.
There's much more great information about Keene and numerous examples of his work in the Leicester Chronicler article.4

1. Here's an interesting article -- complete with a ghostly legend -- about the cathedral's "Dark Entry", which features another image of the exterior, from nearly the same vantage point as the above postcard.
2. Here's a link that shows some of Keene's other postcard works.
3. I believe it's actually "Burniston" Bay.
4. If you're looking for even more on Keene, he's discussed on this genealogy message-board thread.

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