Home Events THE HIGHWAYMEN-Vistas and Visions


Jan 15 2022


10:00 am - 5:00 pm

THE HIGHWAYMEN-Vistas and Visions

Displayed from October 20, 2021 – February 24, 2022

If you were poor, black, and had limited education, the still deeply segregated South of the mid 1950s offered little in the way of opportunity other than the work of a farm laborer. But along the hot and dusty thoroughfares of Florida’s Treasure Coast, a small troupe of 26 African American visionaries turned their backs on the fields and set their sights on an inspired future—a future that was steeped in the organic beauty of South Florida’s breathtaking vistas.

These self-taught artists developed a rapid style of painting that captured an appealing and romantic illustration of Florida’s natural splendor. From the Indian River shores of Brevard to the shimmering beaches of Broward, they set up their roadside “studios” and created artwork that they peddled from the trunks of their cars. Typically, these resourceful artisans sold their stunning landscapes, with hand-made frame included—for $10 or less, to locals, tourists, and businesses up and down their asphalt galleries of South Florida.
The prolific, innovative, and hard-working Highwaymen approached their painting as a pathway to go beyond the limitations imposed on them by racial segregation. Their art provided them a creative vehicle to support their families and become financially stable in a time when there were
few prospects available.

And now that Florida’s unspoiled panoramas are rapidly diminishing at the hand of urban development, the brilliant landscapes captured by Highwaymen become more treasured with each passing day. Authentic Highwaymen art has found its place as a highly sought after, unique genre of “Americana folk art” which is now prized by avid collectors worldwide.

See more than 70 of the finest examples of this uniquely South Florida art genre that is sought after by collectors worldwide.

Join us for our Special Events and lectures during this amazing exhibit

  • THURSDAY, FEB 3 at 6:30 PM: Lecture/Demonstration by Roger Lightle and live painting demonstration by Roy McLendon Jr.
    • Regular museum admission for guests, $10 to members
  • MONDAY, JAN 10 at 8:45 AM to 1:00 PM: Learn to Paint Plein Air – Florida Through the Eyes of the Highwaymen. Join native Florida artist and historian Chessy Ricca in the great outdoors for a historical painting class. Chessy will guide students through the steps and techniques of Florida’s beloved Highwaymen artists.
    • $200 – with personal supplies
    • $325 – with supplies provided by the Elliott Museum
    • For details, email Chessy at Cricca@elliottmuseum.org

The event is finished.