Through Paintings of Nostalgic Florida: The Original Highwaymen Artists, we explore the unique history of the 25 men and one woman who came to be known as the Florida Highwaymen.
From the late 1950’s to the early 1980’s, a group of largely self-taught African American artists from Fort Pierce created tranquil scenes of undeveloped Florida. They painted in backyards and garages, often on inexpensive upson board, and sold their pieces all across Florida while traveling down I-95 and Highway A1A. At the time, paintings cost Floridians and tourists $10 to $35 dollars. Today, those same pieces may be valued anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000.
In the past few decades, there has been a renewed interest in Highwaymen art. The vivid sunsets, windswept palm trees, sandy beaches, tranquil marshes, and scarlet Poinciana trees are now widely sought after as both art and as pieces of Florida history. A small number of the Highwaymen artists continue to paint today, including those contributing to the Brevard Museum’s exhibition.
Paintings of Nostalgic Florida: The Original Highwaymen Artists will feature works by Issac Knight, Robert L. Lewis, Willie Reagan, James Gibson, Harold Newton, and Johnnie Daniels.