The Highwaymen – A Uniquely Floridian Story

Nothing excites people from various geographic regions more than finding a piece of art from their own area. In the case of the much-celebrated Highwaymen, a loose-knit group of 26 African-American, largely self-taught itinerant Floridian artists who flourished between the 1950s and the 1980s, the paintings range from mundane to extraordinary.

The Iconic, Balmy 1960s Florida Scenes

There is an abundance of local and national interest in the paintings by this group. Two of the artists had formal training — most notably Alfred Hair, whose works sometimes fetch thousands of dollars. (As to other Highwaymen — later, less-polished works are only worth a couple hundred dollars.) The iconic, balmy 1960s Florida scenes of larger size captured the attention of tourists, who often purchased them from roadside stands or from the back of a car or van. After these artists became popular, some of them cranked out smaller, more commercial paintings; these are not as valuable. Typically, valuation of these works is based on when they were painted, and their size, quality, condition and subject matter.

harold painting
alfred painting

$500-$10,000 / 1950s-1980s WORKS BY HAROLD NEWTON AND ALFRED HAIR

While prices of these paintings peaked around 2005 and have ebbed in value since then, we still enjoy a robust market in and for these works. We have sold hundreds of Highwaymen paintings in the last couple of years and continue to purchase them. Of even more interest to us are paintings by Alfred Hair’s mentor and teacher, Albert Backus.

albert backus painting

$500-$10,000 / 1950s-1980s WORKS BY ALBERT BACKUS

This is an archival article formerly written and is for informational purposes only. The valuations in this article have likely changed since it was first written.

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