Paul Keene worked with the Philadelphia Federal Arts Project in the National Youth Administration. He served in the renowned Tuskegee Unit, United States Army Air Corps throughout World War II. He then studied at Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, and Academie Julian, Paris.
In the early 1951 and 1953, Paul was awarded John Hay Whitney Fellowships which took him to Haiti to work. His work has been exhibited in Paris, France, Lagos, Nigeria, and in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania throughout his career. In 2005-2008, the James A Michener Art Museum mounted a retrospective of his work accompanied by a catalogue, the Noyes Museum of Art showed his Cape May paintings in a solo exhibition, and his work was included in the survey of the Lewis Tanner Moore Collection, at the Woodmere Art Museum. Woodmere has also been included Keene's work in a survey exhibition on the history of Abstract art in Philadelphia.