The Highwaymen are a group of African American artists celebrated for their distinctive paintings of Florida’s natural environment. Working in and around the Fort Pierce area beginning in the 1950s, these self-taught artists depicted the state’s scenic coastline and wild backcountry, often in dazzling combinations of color and tone. Brilliant tropical sunsets, windblown palms, towering sunlit clouds, and blooming royal poinciana trees are among the many subjects that have become iconic images of Florida, in part because of the paintings that the Highwaymen created.
Living Color: The Art of the Highwaymen focuses on work produced from the 1950s to the 1980s by a core group of the Highwaymen including Al Black, Mary Ann Carroll, Willie Daniels, Johnny Daniels, James Gibson, Alfred Hair, Roy McLendon, Harold Newton, Sam Newton, Willie Reagan, and Livingston Roberts. The exhibition brings special attention on two key artists, Harold Newton and Alfred Hair, and presents extensive examples of their work. Drawn from five private collections, Living Color also considers the role of collectors in preserving the legacy of these artists and their extraordinary life stories.
Living Color is organized by the Orlando Museum of Art and curated by Gary Monroe in collaboration with OMA curator Hansen Mulford.
Image Credit: Untitled (Royal Poinciana), n.d. Harold Newton (American, 1934-1991), Oil on Upson board. 23 ½ x 29 ¾ inches. Courtesy of the Asselstine Collection. © Harold Newton. Photographer: Tariq Gibran.
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