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Quick Facts about the Highwaymen

The Highwaymen are a group of 26 African-American self-taught artists that started painting in the 1950's and were successful in their painting careers in the 1960's and 1970's. The Highwaymen are currently receiving national acclaim.

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The unique tools of the Highwaymen consisted of oils, tree trunk easel, upson board and their car trunks.

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Alfred Hair was the only Highwayman taught by A. E. "Bean" Backus, a well known Fort Pierce landscape artist.

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Harold Newton had a natural talent to paint and was painting long before Hair.

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Some of the artists learned as apprentices to Hair or by watching Harold Newton.

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Painting and selling landscape art was an escape from working laborious jobs in factories and field work.

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The Highwaymen painted Florida landscapes scenes in an hour or less, often selling the oil paintings before they were dry.

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They did not use house paint - they used artists oil paint.

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They made there own frames fashioned out of crown molding painted with house paint and highlighted with gold paint.

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The Highwaymen used Upson board for a canvas. Upson board is a compressed paper construction material that was used in 1950's thru the 1970's similar to the way drywall is used today.

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Mary Ann Carroll is the only female artist and is still actively painting, as are some of the other artists.

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The Highwaymen sold paintings themselves or hired salesmen to sell them out of the trunks of their cars. The artwork was sold to banks, motels, doctors and lawyers offices, restaurants, businesses and the general public throughout Florida.

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They usually charged $25 to $35 per painting. Some paintings today sell for thousands of dollars.

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Interest in their landscape art escalated when Jim Fitch coined the name "Highwaymen" in 1995.

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It is estimated the Highwaymen painted and sold more than 150,000 paintings.