FLORIDA’S HIGHWWAYMEN: LEGENDARY LANDSCAPES
by Bob Beatty
Paintings by the Florida
Highwaymen are prized by collectors today, but their story is about
much more than art. The name refers to African American artists,
mostly from the Fort Pierce area, who painted landscapes and made a
living selling them, door to door, to businesses and individuals
throughout the state from the mid-1950s through the 1980s.
It was not a formal movement
and represented no “official” group, yet the Highwaymen thrived as
artists and entrepreneurs through their sheer determination to
succeed as painters and not as laborers in citrus groves, their
expected social role. They honed techniques to rapidly produce their
paintings and developed strategies to sell and market their artwork
outside of the formal world of art galleries and exhibitions. Their
story is one of African Americans who carved out unique economic
opportunities despite the social conditions of the Jim Crow South.
Discover the story of the
Florida Highwaymen through an engaging presentation by Bob Beatty,
author of Florida’s Highwaymen: Legendary Landscapes and
former Curator of Education at the History Center in Orlando.