Vibrant, Visual Virtuoso Keith Haring, ‘Hero of 1980s American Art,’ Subject of Doylestown Show

woman at a wall
Image via Santi at Creative Commons.
Outdoor art showing the distinctive style of Keith Haring; his smaller works are currently on display in Doylestown.

Artist Keith Haring (1958–1990) worked in several media, including paint, sculpture, prints, posters — and even street art. One hundred of his pieces are now on display at the Michener Art Museum. Jim Vasil unveiled this story for WFMZ 69 News.

Haring was a Reading, Pa., native but his childhood was spent in nearby Kutztown. He developed an early love of drawing, fostered by his father’s basic cartooning skills and a youthful interest in the visual styles of Dr. Seuss and the Disney Studios.

His eye for the creative evolved into a colorful graffiti-style of expression that led to his meteoric rise. Sadly, however, the resultant career ended prematurely when he passed away from complications related to AIDS in 1990. He was only 31.

“We are ecstatic to have Keith Haring’s collection here in Bucks County,” said Joshua Lessard, Director of Exhibitions for the Michener Art Museum. “We were looking for a show that was going to be able to speak to our regional history, and some of our local heroes.”

Much of Haring’s legacy lives in this collection, owned by his friend, Gary Cassinelli.

“He basically came to New York City, made a name for himself, and got right in the center of the art world because he had something to offer,” Cassinelli said.

The exhibit includes two works inspired by Haring’s rural upbringing: Farmer Couple and Man With Lovebird.

Once the show closes in Doylestown, it will tour the world.

More on Keith Haring, his career, and his works is at WFMZ 69 News.