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Fri, Dec 15


Walter Anderson Museum of Art

The Highwaymen and the Florida Landscape

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The Highwaymen and the Florida Landscape
The Highwaymen and the Florida Landscape

Time & Location

Dec 15, 2023, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Walter Anderson Museum of Art, 510 Washington Ave, Ocean Springs, MS 39564, USA

About The Event

This lecture and dialogue follows Walter Anderson by bicycle across Florida, focusing on the mid-century social and creative landscape that included the pioneering work of The Highwaymen. This group of African-American artists helped create what has been called “The Last Great American Art Movement of the 20th century.”

Guest scholar J. Marshall Adams, Executive Director of the A.E. Backus Museum in Fort Pierce Florida, traces the beginnings of this important chapter in Southern art history to the inclusive Backus Studio. Accompanying Adams to continue the compelling story is Doretha Hair Truesdell, culture-bearer and widow of Alfred Hair, the driving force behind The Highwaymen. Truesdell is currently involved in the development of a museum devoted to The Highwaymen and their significance. Joining our two speakers is Head Brewer, Katie Turner, from Chandeleur Brewing Company. Turner will be providing samples of the beer, "Perpetual Motion," and talking with guests about the inspiration she drew from Walter Anderson's Bicycle Logs for this special brew.

J. Marshall Adams is the Executive Director of the A.E. Backus Museum & Gallery in Historic Downtown Fort Pierce, Florida since 2017. He brings more than 25 years of museum experience to his role, and has been recognized statewide and nationally for his work. He was previously the Director of Education at the Vero Beach Museum of Art, the Director of Education & Exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, the Head of School Programs at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Curator of Education at the Mississippi Museum of Art, and from 1996-1999 was Curator of Education at the Walter Anderson Museum of Art. He has his Master’s in Leadership in Museum Education from Bank Street College of Education in New York, his Bachelor’s in Studio Art from Tulane University in New Orleans, and was in the inaugural class of the Getty Leadership Institute's Museum Leadership: The Next Generation.

Doretha Hair Truesdell is a Founding Member and the President of the Official Florida Highwaymen Foundation in Fort Pierce, Florida, where she champions the black landscape tradition advanced by the gifted artists who became known as The Highwaymen. She first moved to Florida in 1959 where she met Alfred Hair (1941-1970), the artist widely regarded as the charismatic leader of the group. During the day she taught elementary school, and painted the backgrounds of her husband's paintings at night. In that time she became a witness to and proponent of the remarkable creative enterprise that would be later recognized as an art movement. Truesdell has a Bachelor's in Business Education with a minor in Art Education, and her Master's in Education from Florida A & M University in Tallahassee. Today she continues to paint and exhibit, gives back to her community by volunteering and donating her art, and works tirelessly to share these inspiring stories.

This lecture is free to the public and is sponsored by the Mississippi Humanities Council. The lecture will begin at 6pm with a time for questions following. The galleries are open for attendees to view before and after the program.

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