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The Highwaymen: Florida's African-American Landscape Painters

The Highwaymen Florida s African American Landscape Painters For the first time the real story behind the Highwaymen has emerged a well researched lively and comprehensive overview of the development and contribution of these African American artists and the

  • Title: The Highwaymen: Florida's African-American Landscape Painters
  • Author: Gary Monroe
  • ISBN: 9780813022819
  • Page: 316
  • Format: Hardcover
  • For the first time, the real story behind the Highwaymen has emerged a well researched, lively, and comprehensive overview of the development and contribution of these African American artists and their place in the history of Florida s popular culture Mallory McCane O Connor, author of Lost Cities of the Ancient SoutheastThe Highwaymen introduces a group of youn For the first time, the real story behind the Highwaymen has emerged a well researched, lively, and comprehensive overview of the development and contribution of these African American artists and their place in the history of Florida s popular culture Mallory McCane O Connor, author of Lost Cities of the Ancient SoutheastThe Highwaymen introduces a group of young black artists who painted their way out of the despair awaiting them in citrus groves and packing houses of 1950s Florida As their story recaptures the imagination of Floridians and their paintings fetch ever escalating prices, the legacy of their freshly conceived landscapes exerts a new and powerful influence on the popular conception of the Sunshine State.While the value of Highwaymen paintings has soared in recent years, until now no authoritative account of the lives and work of these black Florida artists has existed Emerging in the late 1950s, the Highwaymen created idyllic, quickly realized images of the Florida dream and peddled some 100,000 of them from the trunks of their cars Working with inexpensive materials, the Highwaymen produced an astonishing number of landscapes that depict a romanticized Florida a faraway place of wind swept palm trees, billowing cumulus clouds, wetlands, lakes, rivers, ocean, and setting sun With paintings still wet, they loaded their cars and traveled the state s east coast, selling the images door to door and store to store, in restaurants, offices, courthouses, and bank lobbies Sometimes characterized as motel art, the work is a hybrid form of landscape painting, corrupting the classically influenced ideals of the Highwaymen s white mentor, A E Bean Backus At first, the paintings sold like boom time real estate In succeeding decades, however, they were consigned to attics and garage sales Rediscovered in the mid 1990s, today they are recognized as the work of American folk artists Gary Monroe tells the story behind the Highwaymen, a loose association of 25 men and 1 woman from the Ft Pierce area a fascinating mixture of individual talent, collective enterprise, and cultural heritage He also offers a critical look at the paintings and the movement s development Added to this are personal reminiscences by some of the artists, along with a gallery of 63 full color reproductions of their paintings.

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      316 Gary Monroe
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      Published :2018-08-02T18:03:05+00:00

    1 thought on “The Highwaymen: Florida's African-American Landscape Painters

    1. I was just down in Delray Beach, Florida. While I was there I visited the Spady Cultural Heritage Museum, which is the former home of the late Solomon D. Spady, the most prominent African American educator and community leader in the city from the '20s through the '50s. They were showing an exhibit of a group of Florida landscape painters known as "the Highwaymen," whom I'd never heard of.I liked the show, so I bought this book, and read it over the course of the next few days. The Highwaymen we [...]

    2. I've been fascinated by the Highwaymen ever since I learned about them from my former Tampa Bay Times colleague, Jeff Klinkenberg. If I ever take up painting, I want to paint like them, not as hurriedly as they did, but with bold brush strokes and palette knives, evoking the feeling of unspoiled Florida.I've had this book for quite a few years and even cannibalized it for a couple of prints that hang on my dining room wall. I just read it again and enjoyed it more because I think I know the High [...]

    3. The obvious strength of this book are the 60 or so high quality reprints of the art of the loose collective known as the Highwaymen. Operative in Florida during the 50's, 60's, 70's, and 80's. They were "rediscovered in the 1990s and since people have bee collecting their art. What drew me to their story was a story about them on NPR a short while back. I was intrigued by the images I found on the web I sought this book out. The art is vivid and bold and appeals to an idealized and romanticized [...]

    4. What a colorful, vibrant, well formatted book. Beyond this Monroe has done a service I wish more interested artists/academics would perform. He has taken a niche interest of his, and made a comprehensive starting point for others. His knowledge is often based on first-hand accounts. He uses primary sources to explore these great Florida painters, too often ignored because of their kitsch connotation. Just a great book. If you get a chance, but haven't gotten to the book- check out the paintings [...]

    5. Heard the author speak at my collegea fascinating group of African-American painters (one woman among the men) who painted quickly for money rather than high art, yet their paintings beautifully evoke the Florida landscape and dreamscape. Sold for $25 each in the 60's and 70's, they are now collectors' items, selling in the thousands.

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