Florida Highwaymen Art 

Exhibit Opening 

Wednesday, July 3rd

11 AM - 1 PM 

Artist Robert Lewis, “Purple Flamboyant”

Artist Al Black, “Moonlight Riverscape”​

On Wednesday, July 3rd from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM, the Palmetto Historical Park and Manatee County Agricultural Museum will open a Florida Highwaymen Art Exhibit with a reception. This reception is free and open to the public, light bites will be served. The exhibit will be located in the Palmetto Historical Park's Carnegie Library and the Manatee County Agricultural Museum. Please RSVP to (941)721-2034 or through Eventbrite by July 1st. The park and museum are located at 515 -10th Ave. West, Palmetto.

The Florida Highwaymen are a small group of African American landscape artists who began painting in the late 1950s. The paintings were then sold out of the trunk of their cars, as the artists went from door to door at homes and business offices or set up shop on a busy corner at the side of the road. Their bright and sultry images of Florida’s tropical beauty were sold for as little as twenty or thirty dollars. Today their paintings are widely sought after collectibles.


The Highwaymen originated from the Fort Pierce, Florida area when a white artist, Albert Ernest “Bean” Backus began to tutor a young African American teen named Alfred Hair. “Bean” not only taught Hair, but he influenced other young artists interested in exploring their creativity and developing a similar, yet unique style of their own…as well as making a living outside of the back-breaking labor in citrus groves and tomato fields.  In 1995 the term “Highwaymen” was coined by Jim Fitch, a Florida museum curator, who wrote an article about the artists for the magazine “Antiques and Art Around Florida.”


The exhibit will run through August 30th. Half of the paintings will be for sale and can be picked up after the exhibit closes. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday and the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month from 10 AM to noon and 1 – 4 PM. For more information, email agriculturalmuseum@manateeclerk.com or call (941)721-2034.



Tuesday-Friday, 1st & 3rd Saturday 

10:00-12:00, 1:00-4:00


1015 6th Street West

Palmetto, FL 34221

(941) 721-2034