For your reference, this beautiful book (by Gary Monroe) is devoted to the life and work of Mary Ann Carroll. Here is an extended excerpt from Monroe’s book:
In 1957, sixteen-year-old Carroll met Harold Newton, later dubbed the original Highwayman. He was painting a landscape along the side of the road. There were red flames on his car. Yet what shocked the young African American girl most of all was discovering a black man who didn’t work in the orange groves, who made a living off of his paintings. It wasn’t long before she was creating and selling her own landscapes, and the other Highwaymen, taking note of her startling use of color, welcomed her into the fold.
Carroll sold her first painting at eighteen–remarkable for any young artist, unheard of for a black woman in the South. Like her Highwaymen brethren, she travelled across the state, selling her art at hotels, offices, and restaurants where she was not allowed to drink, eat, or even sit. If the Highwaymen faced discrimination at every door they knocked on, then the challenges–and dangers–were magnified for Carroll. She took pride in always having her pristine Buick gassed and ready to go and her small handgun cleaned and ready to use.
After years of virtual obscurity, Carroll was invited to the First Lady’s Luncheon in 2011, where she presented a painting of her iconic poinciana to Michelle Obama….
Below is a picture of my wife Sydjia, who purchased an original Mary Ann Carroll painting (also pictured below) a few days before the artist’s death: