About The Highwaymen
The name "Highwaymen" was given to
landscape artists who traveled and painted what they saw.
The paintings were then sold out of the trunk of their cars.
Paintings were also carried into local Florida Businesses or just set
up along side the highway. The Highwaymen originated from the
Fort Pierce, Florida (Treasure Coast) area during the early to mid 50's
when white Florida landscape artist, A. E. Bean Backus began to tutor a
young African American teenager named Alfred Hair. Other aspiring
artists such as Harold Newton soon followed Hair's lead--looking for a
way of making a decent living. Highwaymen paintings were executed
in rapid style and sold inexpensively along the highways in and around
Vero Beach and Fort Pierce. The demand and appreciation for their
stunning and realistic Florida landscapes has increased, and locating
an older painting is quite a treasure hunt.
Pictured is Willie C. Reagan, one of the original Florida Highwaymen artists.