The Highwaymen give, they don’t take…

If you’ve not heard the story of Florida’s Highwaymen (and one Highwaywoman), it’s a fascinating one…

Their palette included vibrant colors of verdant greens, sunset oranges – and blues and grays that often featured the sun or moon backlighting the scene. The Highwaymen often painted from memory as they captured scenes of the natural Florida they had grown up with, one that was yielding to the development brought on by the state’s mid-Twentieth Century growth.

By necessity, the men (and one woman) painted as an alternative to the backbreaking work of picking and packing Florida citrus – a typical job for African Americans in the 1950’s. Those days were still part of a racially segregated “Jim Crow” South, and painting, then selling their art, gave them an opportunity to succeed in a whole new way.

Their palette included vibrant colors of verdant greens, sunset oranges - and blues and grays that often featured the sun or moon backlighting the scene. The Highwaymen often painted from memory as they captured scenes of the natural Florida they had grown up with, one that was yielding to the development brought on by the state’s mid-Twentieth Century growth.  By necessity, the men (and one woman) painted as an alternative to the backbreaking work of picking and packing Florida citrus – a typical job for African Americans in the 1950’s. Those days were still part of a racially segregated “Jim Crow” South, and painting, then selling their art, gave them an opportunity to succeed in a whole new way.

(Rumor has it, a great supporter of HSoSC collects Highwaymen art. Perhaps one day, we could borrow some for an exhibit in the Crocker Church?)

Read the article here.

The Florida Highwaymen web site.

Highwaymen art photo borrowed from Authentic Florida.

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