Self-taught artists showcase Florida landscapes – The News

A loose group of largely self-taught artists — an indigenous “school” that produced vivid, quickly rendered scenes of Florida swamps, sunsets and seascapes — formed of necessity during Jim Crow days.

Back then, Sunshine State galleries didn’t welcome black painters, so the artists became traveling entrepreneurs — highwaymen — selling their paintings door-to-door in business districts or sometimes roadside, from the backs of their cars for about 20 bucks.

But The Highwaymen were discovered by the art world in the 1980s and ’90s, and their paintings can now fetch thousands of dollars.

Southwest Floridians will have another chance to explore the cultural impact of these outsider artists, who excelled at Florida landscapes and citrus groves, starting Sept. 5 at the Southwest Florida Museum of History in Fort Myers.

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