If you’re a fan of American art, you may have heard of the Florida Highwaymen. But if you haven’t, prepare to be introduced to a group of artists who created a new style of painting and changed the landscape of Florida art forever.
Discovering the Florida Highwaymen
The Florida Highwaymen were a group of African American artists who began painting in the 1950s and 1960s. At the time, segregation laws prevented them from showing their work in galleries or selling it to the mainstream art market. To make a living, they sold their paintings door-to-door and from the trunks of their cars, often along Florida’s highways. Hence the name “Florida Highwaymen.”
Their paintings were characterized by vibrant colors, bold brushstrokes, and a focus on Florida’s natural beauty – specifically, its beaches, swamps, and sunsets. The Highwaymen painted quickly, sometimes completing a piece in under an hour, and sold their works for just a few dollars each.
Despite facing discrimination and limited opportunities, the Highwaymen produced thousands of paintings over the years, creating a unique and enduring legacy.
Reviving Interest in the Highwaymen
In the 1990s, the Highwaymen’s work began to receive renewed attention. A group of collectors recognized the value of their art and began buying up their paintings. Interest grew, and in 2004, the state of Florida declared the Highwaymen a “heritage trail,” recognizing their contributions to the state’s cultural history.
Today, the Highwaymen are celebrated as important figures in American art history, and their works are highly sought after by collectors. The paintings capture the beauty and energy of Florida’s landscapes, and the story of the Highwaymen’s perseverance and creativity continues to inspire people today.
Buying and Collecting Highwaymen Art
If you’re interested in buying or collecting Highwaymen art, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, be aware of fakes – there are many imitations out there, and it can be difficult to tell the difference. Look for paintings that have a certificate of authenticity or that come from a reputable dealer.
Second, know what you’re looking for. There were 26 Highwaymen artists, each with their own unique style. Some artists are more popular than others, and certain paintings are more sought after than others. Do your research and decide what appeals to you before you start buying.
Finally, be prepared to spend some money. While Highwaymen paintings were once sold for just a few dollars, today they can sell for thousands of dollars or more, depending on the artist and the painting’s condition.
In conclusion, the Florida Highwaymen were a group of remarkable artists who created a new style of painting and overcame incredible obstacles to achieve success. Their legacy lives on today through their beautiful, vibrant works of art, and their story continues to inspire people around the world. Whether you’re a collector or just an art enthusiast, the Highwaymen are definitely worth discovering.