“Living Color: The Art of the Highwaymen” brings together 60 paintings from five outstanding private collections, featuring the works of the core group of Florida Highwaymen. These celebrated African American artists depicted the state’s natural environment and rich tones through their unique self-taught painting styles.
The Highwaymen produced artwork from the 1950s to the 1980s. Artists 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, painted as a means to making a living, and many were quite successful, especially Alfred Hair and Harold Newton. Facing limitations imposed by the racial prejudice of their time, Highwaymen artists had little or no formal training or access to conventional art markets. To overcome these obstacles, they produced large numbers of works that could be sold at affordable prices, often door-to-door and sometimes from their cars’ trunks along such thoroughfares as Route 1.