Sunday, August 10, 2008

Interview with Geoff Cook, Florida Highwaymen Collector

It is said that when you catch the bug for Highwaymen Paintings, you can't just go out and purchase one. Oh no, that would spoil the fun. The thrill for a collector is in the hunt. And Geoff Cook is certainly winning the game. An avid Highwaymen Painting collector for over 10 years, here is our interview with Geoff Cook:

How did you get started collecting Florida Highwaymen Paintings?
My interest peaked in 1998 after having read a newspaper article about them. It became sort of a treasure hunt. I started looking in antique shops, thrift stores and mostly auctions. At one point my collection was over 2500 hundred paintings. Right now it is around 300.

Have you always been an art collector, or did it start with the Highwaymen?
It definitely started with the Highwaymen. After seeing an article about them with a very large colorful photo of a Highwaymen painting. I was hooked. It was all about that photo. Had it been in black and white instead of color I probably would not have even noticed. I had retired from a career as a farmer and nursery grower, so the scenic Florida landscape really caught my eye. Reading about their history, I thought it was a great story and I caught the bug.

Do you have a favorite artist or painting?
That would have to be Harold Newton. He seemed to have a natural talent for painting. His style was unique, the way he highlights clouds and makes it very lifelike, but also leaves enough to the imagination.

How many galleries or shows have you exhibited with your collection?
From Homestead to Tallahassee ... at least 20.

Do you have any advice for people going on their own treasure hunt for a highwaymen painting?
Don't start ... it's addictive!


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