- Jan 31 2022
- 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
THE HIGHWAYMEN-Vistas and Visions
Displayed from October 20, 2021 – March 31, 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.
Florida’s Highwaymen Defied Jim Crow Law With Their Art
Although they were shut out of Florida’s museums and galleries in the 1950s, 26 Black painters captured Florida’s tropical landscapes and managed to make a living—and a name for themselves—off their art. Read more here to learn who the originals were and their courage despite the odds!
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.