Last night, you may have seen it? The Indian River Lagoon region became a Highwayman painting…
In early evening, the full moon rose like a wise old sentinel, slowly, beautifully, magically bathing our world in a light belonging only to dreams and to fairy tales…
In my younger years, my Grandfather Henderson gave me a Highwayman painting by Livingston Roberts. It is a moonscape and when the moon is not out, I look to it for the same inspiration as I felt last night. It is the painting at the top of this blog post.
As shared on the Highwaymen website, Livingston Roberts, the painter of my piece, belonged to the Highwaymen group, an association of young African-American artists that functioned in 1950s and beyond in Ft Pierce, Florida. The Highwaymen artists specialized in painting Florida landscapes in a recognizable and flamboyant style.
Because they were black, it was not possible for them to sell their paintings in art galleries and shows, so they were selling them right from the backs of their cars and trucks. That is how they gained their name – “Highwaymen.”
If you have not discovered the Highwaymen, please visit the Bean Backus Museum in Ft Pierce.
Mr Backus taught Alfred Hair, the group’s founding painter and businessman. Artist, Mr Bean Backus, the father of impressionist natural-landscapes of our region and world renowned, welcomed the young black artists into his studio during a time of great prejudice. This kindness opened a whole new world for the young artists and a new light shone on Ft Pierce….
Like the moon, the story of the Highwaymen is one of a great inspiration.
The Highwaymen: (http://www.floridahighwaymenartist.com/)
A.E. Bean Backus Gallery, Ft Pierce : (http://backusgallery.com)
The two painting below were shared by Ann Benedetti. The first is by Highwaymen artist Harold Newton and the second is by Highwaymen founder, Alfred Hair. Thanks for sharing these gorgeous paintings Ann!