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Orange Sky, Breaking Surf, 3 Birds

  • Image for Orange Sky, Breaking Surf, 3 Birds
  • Image for Orange Sky, Breaking Surf, 3 Birds
  • Image for Orange Sky, Breaking Surf, 3 Birds
  • Image for Orange Sky, Breaking Surf, 3 Birds
4 images
Created by
Hair, Alfred, American, 1941 - 1970
oil paint on fiberboard
H x W x D (framed): 27 1/4 × 35 5/8 × 2 in. (69.2 × 90.5 × 5.1 cm)
oil paintings
Place made
Fort Pierce, Saint Lucie County, Florida, United States, North and Central America
Alfred Hair was a member of the Florida Highwaymen, a group of self-taught artists who worked in Florida starting in the 1950s. The Highwaymen leveraged their entrepreneurial spirit to create an independent artistic tradition during the era of segregation. The group was made up of twenty-five men and one woman. Their art provided an alternative livelihood to the regional agricultural and factory work. Alfred Hair was mentored by the Fort Pierce, Fl. artist A.E. “Bean” Backus and was the only formally trained Highwaymen painter. Hair’s work encouraged other artists to take up painting.
The group created a great quantity of work, often dozens of paintings per day, which would be sold inexpensively. The paintings depict Florida landscapes and are renowned for their vibrant colors and serene scenes. Like other Highwaymen, Hair sold his paintings door to door and out of his car along roadways. This practice led Jim Finch, a Sebring Florida gallery owner, to name the group the “Highwaymen” in a 1995 essay, prompting a renewed public interest. In 2004, they were inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame.
Fort Pierce and the Florida Humanities Council. “The Highwaymen Trail.” 2012.
Oil painting of a Florida beach. This painting (a) depicts a sunset or sunrise over the water. The sky is depicted in various shades of orange with small clouds in the background. There is a group of three (3) seagulls flying in the center. The sky is reflected on the ocean water. The middle of the painting has surf with breaking waves. The painting is signed in the bottom right.
The wooden frame (b) is made from repurposed construction materials. The frame is lightly painted with white and gold-colored paints. The painting is secured to the frame with small nails and covered with masking tape. A wire is anchored with a screw eye on each side and strung across the upper back. The frame is nailed together at the corners.
African American
American South
Credit Line
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Robert and Flory Kahn in memory of Wolf and Tybe Kahn
Object number
Restrictions & Rights
Unknown - Restrictions Possible
See more items in
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Visual Arts
Data Source
National Museum of African American History and Culture

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