|© Copyright 2009 - Kelvin Hair - Artist
Alfred Warner Hair was born in Fort Pierce, Florida in 1941. His parents were
Annie Mae and Sammy Hair Sr. Alfred Hair married Doretha in 1966. He had six
children. Alfred Hair attended Lincoln Park High and Lincoln Park Community
College. Hair had natural artistic talent which manifested itself in art class at
Lincoln Park High where he studied under art teacher Zenobia Jefferson. She
sent him to study art with A.E. Backus.
Hair saw painting as liberation for
young African- Americans, from
being confined to fruit picking and
other forms of hard manual labor.
Hair knew he could never make a
living on his paintings the same way
white artists could because he was
in the Deep South during the Jim
Crow era, so Hair resolved to work
fast and in quantity.
He shunned traditional methods and painted quick, brisk images of Florida’s tropical beauty in bright colors.
There were no boundaries for these paintings and it left the paintings full of the artist’s emotions. Hair, not
thinking of fame, inadvertently discovered what is known today as Highwaymen style painting. Hair would paint
8 to 20 paintings at a time. Even though the paintings employed the same color scheme each painting was a
different scene and they were not carbon copies. Hair sold his paintings to various businesses door to door
and from the trunk of his car, thus the name Highwaymen. Business was so good that Hair could not paint and
sell fast enough so he employed salesmen some of which became Highwaymen artists themselves. The best
known of these salesmen was Al Black.
Hair and Black met in 1964. Black and Hair quickly
became friends. Like peanut butter and jelly, they
were meant to be. Hair was the best fast artist and Al
was the best salesman. Times where good, money
was plentiful, everyone was driving a new Cadillac.
Hair at 29 years old knew he would be a millionaire
in a few years and often boasted about it.
As quickly as it started, it was over, Alfred Hair was killed in
1970. What exactly happened is not totally clear but Hair was
not the initial intended target of his killer. You can read
information provided below and make your own decision. After
Hair’s death the Highwaymen lost their drive. Interest in their art
was revived in 1995 but it never had the vitality and vigor it did
during Hair`s life.
Alfred Hair was inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame in