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Patty Prather Thum.jpg

Patty Prather Thum (October 1, 1853September 28, 1926) was an American artist from Louisville, Kentucky known for her landscapes, paintings of roses, and book illustrations. She studied art at Vassar College and the Art Students League of New York and maintained a portrait and landscape studio in Louisville for 35 years. She taught art, illustrated books and magazines, served as the president of the Louisville Art League, and was the art critic for the Louisville Herald until 1925.

Patty Prather Thum, daughter of Mandeville and Louisiana (Miller) Thum, was born October 1, 1853 in Louisville, Kentucky. She was first tutored in drawing by her mother. As a child, Thum visited her grandparents at their rural home and developed a "love of nature". Thum studied art at Vassar College with Henry Van Ingen, and under William Merritt Chase, Henry Mobray, and Lemuel Wiles at the Art Students League of New York. In the mid-1870s, Thum moved back to Louisville and began a career as a painter.

Thum had an art studio at the Francis Building in Louisville for over 35 years. She is most well known for her landscape painting, mostly of flowers and Kentucky scenes, but also painted still-lifes and portraits. She also contributed to art magazines and newspapers. She painted private gardens in Jefferson and Oldham Counties with native trees being a focus of her work. Thum was a member of several art organizations, including the Louisville Art Association, the Art Association of Indianapolis, the American Federation of Art, and the Arts Club. Thum received an honorable mention for book illustration of "Robbie and Annie: A Child's Story" at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

After an illness of several months, Thum died at her home in Louisville at the age of seventy-two on September 28, 1926. She was buried at Louisville's Cave Hill Cemetery on September 30, 1926.