Three Highwaymen Pieces Added to the Museum of Florida History's Prestigious Collection

By: Kanika Jelks


As many of you know, I am a huge fan of the Florida Highwaymen artists and can't say enough about their impact, both collectively and individually, on the cultural imprint of Florida. For those of you who share my enthusiasm, you'll be excited to learn about the Museum of Florida History's latest additions.

This month three new Highwaymen paintings were added to the Tallahassee museum's impressive collection. Issac Knight's South Fork of the St. Lucie River, R.L. Lewis' Tate's Hell and Full Moon at St. Mark's Lighthouse by Willie Reagan round out the museum's collection, bringing its total number of Highwaymen paintings to 15. This is one of the most extensive and comprehensive collections of Florida Highwaymen art in a Florida museum. 

If you are unfamiliar with the Highwaymen, seeing this collection for yourself is a great way to get to know why they're such a big deal here in the Sunshine State. Beginning in the 1950s, a group of 26 African-American artists gave themselves the interesting moniker of Highwaymen as a nod to their creative processes. Painting in their garages, they'd load up on on the weekend, selling their works to businesses and hotels along Florida's many highways. Since then, their paintings become prized collector's pieces, noted for their distinctive character and look at Florida's landscape.

I think their work is one of the most fantastic ways to get a picture of "Real Florida."

Check out the exhibit and let me know what you think!


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