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(lo͞o`mĭnĭz'əm), American art movement of the 19th cent. Luminism was an outgrowth of the Hudson River schoolHudson River school,
group of American landscape painters, working from 1825 to 1875. The 19th-century romantic movements of England, Germany, and France were introduced to the United States by such writers as Washington Irving and James Fenimore Cooper.
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. In its concern for capturing the effects of light and atmosphere it is sometimes linked to impressionismimpressionism,
in painting, late-19th-century French school that was generally characterized by the attempt to depict transitory visual impressions, often painted directly from nature, and by the use of pure, broken color to achieve brilliance and luminosity.
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. Its practitioners included Frederick E. ChurchChurch, Frederick Edwin,
1826–1900, American landscape painter of the Hudson River school, b. Hartford, Conn., studied with Thomas Cole at Catskill, N.Y. He traveled and painted in North and South America and in Europe and excelled in panoramic scenes.
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 (in his early career), Fitz Hugh LaneLane, Fitz Hugh,
1804–65, American painter and printmaker, b. Gloucester, Mass. A painter of ships and coastal panoramas, Lane is most notable as a leading figure in American luminism. He illuminated his canvases with warm, glowing yellow and pink skies reflected in water.
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, John F. KensettKensett, John Frederick
, 1816–72, American landscape painter, of the Hudson River school, b. Cheshire, Conn. He began painting while working as an engraver and in 1840 went to England to study.
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, Sanford R. GiffordGifford, Sanford Robinson,
1823–80, American painter, b. Greenfield, N.Y. A major painter of the American movement known as luminism, Gifford, who was influenced by Thomas Cole early in his career, was celebrated for his atmospheric landscapes. He grew up in Hudson, N.Y.
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, and Martin Johnson HeadeHeade, Martin Johnson
, 1819–1904, American painter, b. Lumberville, Pa. He studied briefly with Edward Hicks and in Europe, and later traveled in Central and South America.
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. They painted majestic landscapes and seascapes bathed in the mystical light of a pristine sky with an emphasis on Nature's grand scale.


See B. Novak, Nature and Culture: American Landscape and Painting, 1825–1875 (1980).

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References in periodicals archive ?
Sweeney might dissect a construction like luminism, but he left the usage western art unexamined when he titled a revisionist survey Masterpieces of Western American Art and included in its coverage Hudson River landscapes.
Gray Sweeney, "Inventing Luminism: 'Labels Are the Dickens,'" Oxford Art Journal 26 (2003): 120.
Gray Sweeney, Masterpieces of Western American Art (New York, 1991); and see Andrew Wilton and Tim Barringer, American Sublime: Landscape Painting in the United States 1820-1880 (Princeton, NJ, and London, 2002), 25-26, which also brings together East and West and is equally suspicious of the notion that "luminism" constituted a distinctive movement in American landscape art, opting for "the transcendental" instead.
LUMINISM: Cover the central area of the painting with your hand or a piece of white paper, and compare the sky colors on either side.
But the "still small voice" of Luminism is also alive, not as a major influence on commercial cinema, but as a sensibility of considerable use in coming to terms with a number of accomplished American independent filmmakers of recent decades, including Larry Gottheim, Nathaniel Dorsky, Leighton Pierce, and the focus of this discussion: Peter Hutton.
Art historians have defined "Luminism" in a variety of ways since John Baur coined the term in the 1940s, to refer to the work of John Frederick Kensett, Sanford Gifford, Martin Johnson Heade, and Fitz Hugh Lane, and to selected paintings by some Hudson River school painters, especially Thomas Cole and Frederic Edwin Church.
(3.) Baur apparently coined and explored "Luminism" in "American Luminism, a Neglected Aspect of the Realist Movement in Nineteenth-Century American Painting," Perspective USA, no.
Rather than giving us a highlight reel of the Hudson River School a la Alexis Rockman, Handelman fixates on his chosen genre's essence: light, an unavoidable motif in patriotic songs including the national anthem and "God Bless America." He wants to foreground Luminism (in Bush's words from the third presidential debate, "the sunrise side, not the sunset side" of the mountain) as an expression of manifest destiny but also aims (in most cases successfully) to stake his own claim to the American landscape painting.
In some paintings Tapley's sympathies with Romanticism in general, and American luminism in particular, ate evident, but elsewhere she works with the compressed space of modernist painting.
Her master's thesis at Columbia University explored the connection between luminism and Eastern thought.
If I had grafted his giant branch onto Friedrich's tree, I could also, for this occasion, turn him into a twentieth-century manifestation of what, rightly or wrongly, has been considered an indigenous American phenomenon, Luminism. Weren't the unpopulated, head-on views of spellbinding sunsets and sunrises that enthralled such mid-nineteenth-century painters as John Kensett and Martin Johnson Heade previews of Rothko's own vision of immaterial, luminous color that seems to breathe with an expansive mystery?