Alfred Hair and the Florida Highwaymen
Florida Highwaymen is the collective name given to a small group of African American painters from Ft. Pierce, Florida, who began painting Florida landscapes in the late 1950s.
Through the leadership and creativity of the group's original member Alfred Hair, the artists shunned traditional methods and painted Florida's sunsets, waterscapes, marshes and inlets with raw beauty and charm in quick, brightly colored images. They have produced an estimated 200,000 paintings, and sold their creations from the trunks of their cars along Florida's east coast for as little as $20 each.
In 1995, Sebring gallery owner and art collector Jim Fitch wrote an article for an arts journal in which he described the Fort Pierce-based artists as the "Florida Highwaymen," named for their tactics of traveling highways I-95 and A1A to sell their artwork from the trunks of their cars. Fitch's article was soon followed by an article in The New York Times which lauded the newly discovered Florida Highwaymen. Demand for the group's work soared.
Today, Florida Highwaymen paintings are widely sought by collectors all over the world. Paintings by the Florida Highwaymen are an integral part of the Florida Department of State Art Collection.
Recognized as the original 26 Florida Highwaymen are:
- Curtis Arnett (1950- )
- Hezekiah Baker (1940-2007)
- Al Black (1947- )
- Ellis Buckner (1943-1991)
- George Buckner (1942-2002)
- Robert Butler (1943- )
- Mary Ann Carroll (1940 - )
- Johnny Daniels (1954-2009)
- Willie Daniels (no birth date information)
- Rodney Demps (1953- )
- James Gibson (1938-2017)
- Alfred Hair (1941-1970)
- Issac Knight (1942 - )
- Robert L. Lewis, Jr. (no birth date information)
- John Maynor (1948 - )
- Roy McLendon (1932- )
- Alfonso Moran (1930-2003)
- Harold Newton(1934-1994)
- Lemuel Newton (no birth date information)
- Sam Newton (1948- )
- Livingston Roberts (1942-2004)
- Willie Reagan (1941? - )
- Carnell Smith (1950-2015)
- Charles Walker (1946- )
- Sylvester Wells (1938- )
- Charles Wheeler (no birth date information)