Harold Newton (1934 – 1994)

Harold Newton is one of the Florida African-American painters known as the Highwaymen, along with other landscapists. These landscapists used a fanciful, formula-style that involved billowing cumulus clouds and the ocean. Influenced by Albert E. Backus, the “dean of Florida landscape painting,” the group of artists included Newton, James Gibson, and Alfred Hair. Persuaded by Backus, the 19-year-old Newton stopped painting religious scenes and took up landscapes, which he quickly taught himself to do. Gallery representation was out of the question for black painters in South Florida, so Newton began selling his paintings directly out of his car. Selling out of the car was a practice all the Highwaymen painters would follow. It was a choice for these young black painters to work in the orange groves or another menial job, or if they had any talent at all, making art. Typically they painted on upson board, a manufactured product used by roofers. They also painted on masonite and wood. Works were framed in crown molding and then sold from car trunks.

Harold Newton Paintings