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 Harriet Randall Lumis  (1870 - 1953)

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Lived/Active: Massachusetts/Connecticut      Known for: landscape, coastal view, marine

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Ad Code: 2
Harriet Randall Lumis
from Auction House Records.
Summer Morning the Artist's Garden and S
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Salem, Connecticut, Harriet Lumis used the palette and technique of French Impressionist artists and was a founding member of the Academic Artists Association, a group opposed to abstract art.

She married architect Fred Lumis and then in 1893, began art studies in Springfield, Massachusetts. She first painted landscapes with Connecticut artist Leonard Ochtman from whom she learned the tonalist style. She also studied with Parker Hayden at the New York Summer School in Cos Cob, Connecticut, and beginning 1920, with Hugh Breckenridge at his School of Art in East Gloucester, Massachusetts. In 1921, she joined the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors.

In the 1930s, Carson, Pirie Scott and Company of Chicago handled her work, and she moved away from her former heavy impasto technique to a more wash-like, broad application of color. In 1949, she invited to her studio other traditional artists, those standing firm for realism against the encroaching modernism, to found the Academic Artists Association. For the remainder of her career, she taught private art lessons and remained true to the plein air method of painting.

She died in Springfield, Massachusetts on April 6, 1953.

Source:
Michael David Zellman, "300 Years of American Art"
Paul Sternberg, Sr., "Art by American Women"
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Harriet Randall Lumis was born in Salem, Connecticut on May 29, 1870. She married architect Fred Lumis and, in 1893, she began art studies in Springfield, Massachusetts. She first painted landscapes with Connecticut artist Leonard Ochtmen from whom she learned the tonalist style. She also studied with Parker Hayden at the New York Summer School in Cos Cob, Connecticut, and beginning with 1920 with Hugh Breckenridge at his School of Art in East Gloucester, Massachusetts.

In the 1930s, Carson, Pirie Scott and Company of Chicago handled her work and she moved away from her former heavy impasto technique to a more wash-like, broad application of color. In 1949 she invited other traditional artists, those standing firm for realism against the encroaching modernism, to found the Academic Artists Association. For the remained of her career, she taught private art lessons and remained true to the plein air method of painting. She died in Springfield, Massachusetts on April 6, 1953.

Written and submitted by Jean Ershler Schatz, artist and researcher from Laguna Woods, California.

Sources include:
From the internet, AskART.com
Mantle Fielding's Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors and Engravers, 1986-87


Biography from R.H. Love Galleries:
Harriet Eunice Randall was born on a Connecticut farm, the daughter of Olive Metcalf Randall and Enoch Brown Randall. She received a well-rounded, secondary education at the Connecticut Literary Institution in Suffield. Apparently Harriet’s parents discouraged her interest in drawing and painting, for in an interview years later in the Springfield Union (MA), 7 January 1927, she stated that she “never drew or painted anything in my life until after I married. To be sure I was filled with a great desire to paint the atrocious flower pieces. . . . ” In 1892 she married Fred Williams Lumis, an architect living in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Harriet Lumis’s introduction to modern painting resulted from contact with James Hall beginning in 1896 and from her earliest formal painting instructor, Willis S. Adams (1848-1921), a painter of moody pastoral scenes in the Barbizon manner. It appears that Adams was a good teacher, and under his influence Harriet produced her first landscapes, which were in the tonalist tradition. Early in the new century she sought criticism and further instruction from artists of the area, mainly Leonard Ochtman. While she was studying with Ochtman in the New York Summer School at Mianus near Cos Cob in southern Connecticut, she began to loosen her technique, use brighter colors and replace the broad vista scenes with more detailed slices of nature.

Not until 1912, when Harriet Lumis was forty-two years of age, was she sufficiently confident of her work to submit three canvases to the Albright Gallery in Buffalo for the annual exhibition of the Buffalo Society of Artists. A local critic in the Buffalo Express (NY), 22 April 1912, reported that they were “all characterized by unusual refinement of color and a poetic, but sure touch.” In the following year three of her pictures were shown in the annual exhibition of the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts, an institution of which she became a member. When Lumis was over fifty she attended Hugh Breckenridge’s summer school in Gloucester.

Lumis was one of the founding members of the Springfield Art League in 1919. During the decade of the twenties the artist became increasingly less restrictive in technique yet adhered to basic principles of composition and to sound draftsmanship. Lumis’s expressive depiction of water, and delight in its myriad reflections clearly manifest the influence of Breckenridge, as well as that of Alfred Sisley and Claude Monet. At the age of fifty-one, Lumis’s growing reputation resulted in her election to the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors. During this period she was quite active in the affairs of the Springfield Art League; also she acquired art dealers in St. Louis and Chicago.

Lumis’s technique changed from the use of heavy impasto texture to one of almost wash-like patches of subtle hues contrasted with large areas of brilliant broken color. Upon the impact of modernism, Harriet was distressed at national and local exhibition awards to artists she deemed inferior, and in 1933 she resigned from the Springfield Art League. She taught private classes up to her death in April of 1953 at the age of eighty-three.


LITERATURE:
Richard H. Love. Harriet Randall Lumis 1870-1953, An American Impressionist. Exh. cat. Chicago: R.H. Love Galleries, 1977.
Richard H. Love. Harriet Randall Lumis: Grande Dame of Landscape Painting. Chicago: Haase-Mumm, 1989.

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at registrar@AskART.com.


Harriet Lumis is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
New York Armory Show of 1913
Impressionists Pre 1940
Women Artists



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