Keith Haring: 1978–1982, on display from March 16 to July 8, 2012 in the Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Wing of the Brooklyn Museum, was the first large-scale exhibition to explore the early career of the artist. Curated by Raphaela Platow, the exhibition includes 155 works on paper, numerous experimental videos, and over 150 archival objects, including rarely seen sketchbooks, journals, exhibition flyers, posters, subway drawings, and documentary photographs.
Keith Haring (May 4, 1958 – February 16, 1990), a Pennsylvania native, moved to New York in 1978 and with his trademark creations across a variety of media, quickly made his mark in the thriving alternative art community that was developing outside the gallery and museum system. Haring was known for his subway graffiti, but instead of painting subway cars with spraypaint, he mostly drew with white chalk on the black paper pasted on unused advertising spaces. His distinctive style became widely known by those who never knew his identity. In his later years, he took on a more activist role, contributing works to hospitals and charities. In 1989, after being diagnosed with AIDS, he founded the Keith Haring Foundation, which supports organizations involved in AIDS education and outreach.
The Brooklyn Museum, sitting at the border of Prospect Heights and Crown Heights near Prospect Park, is the second largest art museum in New York City. Opened in 1897 under the leadership of Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences president John B. Woodward, the 560,000-square foot, Beaux-Arts building houses a permanent collection including more than one-and-a-half million objects, from ancient Egyptian masterpieces to contemporary art.