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The Highwaymen: Florida's African-American Landscape Painters Hardcover – November 20, 2001

4.7 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Monroe's book is a valuable document of Florida's rich cultural past, showing how black artists contributed to the dreamy visions of Florida."

About the Author

Gary Monroe, professor of visual art at Daytona State College, is a documentary photographer with a long-time interest in "outsider" and vernacular art. His work has been recognized with numerous exhibitions and awards, including grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Fulbright Foundation, and he has been a popular lecturer for the Florida Humanities Council’s Speakers Bureau. His photographs have been published in Cassadaga: The South's Oldest Spiritualist Community (UPF, 2000), which he coedited; Life in South Beach (1989); and Florida Dreams (1993). He lives in DeLand, Florida.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Florida; 1st edition (November 20, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813022819
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813022819
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #434,483 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In 1994, art aficionado Jim Fitch assigned the name "Highwaymen" to a loose association of young, mostly untrained black artists (including one woman) from the Fort Pierce area who created thousands of Florida landscapes and marketed them from the backs of their cars for about $25 in the 1960's and `70's. Theirs was an unabashedly commercial venture, and the artists collaborated to create and sell works as quickly and cheaply as possible. Dismissed as "motel art" at the time, these intense, lush and at times otherworldly depictions of an idealized Florida have become a subject of renewed interest and critical attention in recent years. Consequently, many myths and vague tales have grown up around the group.

As part of his research, author Gary Monroe interviewed many of the remaining artists to bring the story to life, presented here in a 26-page annotated essay. In analyzing the art, he insists that the speed with which they worked was far from a detriment: "By unintentionally bastardizing the canonical pictorial strategies...they created a new form of fantasy landscape painting." The artists found their strength as colorists, and the emotional hues capture the essence of Florida (or at least, as we imagine it.)

As a northerner who visited Florida twice as a child in the pre-Disney days, I must confess that the 63 glorious full-color reproductions here gave me goose bumps of fond memory, real or imagined.

A followup: This book launched an explosion of interest in The Highwaymen. Surviving members no longer need hawk their wares, since collectors now come to them and new works sell for as much as $18,000. The were inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame in 2004.
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Format: Hardcover
An all-inclusive journey through the lives and souls of African American painters from days gone by. These creative souls painted breathtaking beach landscapes... Many of their works still survive today, and sell for [a small fortune]. (I know, I have one in my living room.) A great buy! Just be warned; one look through it's pages will draw you toward Florida's shores lke a child to the smell of cotton candy!
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Format: Hardcover
This book highlites a special group of amateur black artists who lived in Florida in the 1950's. The story is well presented with wonderful details that make their artistic journey come alive. The paintings are wonderful. The only drawback to this book, as I see it, is that the vivid hues of the paintings did not come through in this book. I happened to read a magazine article, full of rich colorful pictures of some of the paintings, which sparked my interest, and led to my purchasing this book. Unfortunately, it seems that this printing process could not represent the original brilliance of the paintings. This is a fascinating peek at a little know bit of Florida art history.
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By L. Page on January 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the history of African-American self-taught artists who drove the highways of Florida stopping to paint the landscape as they
saw it before the age of super development. Many of them have pass but a few relatives remain and are trying to preserve this type of art. Currently, access to undeveloped land is one of their challenges. The original Highway Men painted and sold their work along
the highways. They have captured "The old Florida" that many of us miss.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The anniversary of our first meeting, Valentine's Day and my wife's birthday all hit in the same week, give or take a day or two. She had been talking about going to a Highwayman exhibit, so I ordered this book. I got five stars, so I'll pass them on to the book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good background information on the various Hywaymen painters. Book was in very good condition and was more than pleased and surprised that one of the pages was actually signed by one of the Highwaymen. That was truly a BONUS!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Gary Monroe does an excellent job in his book THE HIGHWAYMEN. Excellent info told in a short quick manner that anyone can understand. Whether you are new to the Highwaymen or collect like I do, this book is one to own. Set it out in your house and watch people get into it. RECOMMEDED
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great content.
Good narraatives,
I believe that the book would be much more beneficial and enjoyable if it were in a larger format of - say 8.5x11 of even 11 x 17 so that the besuty and details of the art could be better appreciated.
But, I hasten to add - the book is Excellent, enjoyable and one you will probably definitely want to keep in your permanent library.
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