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Keith Haring's Impact on Chicago

"At The Pinnacle" by Keith Haring (1989)

Over the last few months, we have had the honor of inspecting and researching several different Keith Haring (American, 1958 -1990) works. MIR Appraisal Services has a long history of analyzing Haring’s work, including the 1989, 480-foot mural, “At The Pinnacle” created by Haring and 500 Chicago Public Schools students from 40 various Chicago High Schools.

In May of 1989 Haring traveled to Chicago, where he intuitively, and with remarkable speed, created the base of the mural by painting the thick, black, and clean lines of his iconic simple images on whitewash panels of Masonite that stretched for two city blocks in Grant Park. A headline in the Chicago Tribune read "Teens tap their own creativity to fill in the blanks for Keith Haring.” Parts of the mural, which are now considered property of CPS, are on loan to the Chicago Department of Aviation, and can be found on the pedestrian walkway connecting Midway Airport to the CTA terminal.

Keith Haring

Haring crossed boundaries using his work to connect directly to the public. From his subway drawings, gallery and museum exhibitions, to organized public sculptures, murals, projects with school children, and corporate commissions of bill boards and logos, Haring redefined the 1980’s art scene. The effects of his practices are still visable today.

In 1986 Haring opened his own store, Pop Shop in downtown Manhattan. Haring saw the store as an extension of his art. The store itself can be considered a work of art with the inside being completely covered by one of his murals. While the store acted as another way for Haring to directly connect his art to the public, it was also a way for him to combat forgeries of his work. Haring forgeries were, and continue to be a major issue today. Keith Haring’s work is a prime example of why here at MIR Appraisal Services we research provenance and facilitate authentication.

"Ignorance = Fear" by Keith Haring (1989)

Keith Haring was once told by a New York dealer that he made too much work. He was constantly working, and always creating on various materials from clothing and paper bags to scraps of paper. Haring died just nine months after the creation of the Grant Park Mural, “At the Pinnacle”. A year before his death in 1990, Haring established his own foundation to help children in need and those affected by HIV/AIDS. With AIDS Awareness Month approaching in December, we remember this great artist, and his contribution to Chicago.

“Authentication .” Authentication | Keith Haring, The Keith Haring Foundation ,

“Awareness Days.”, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 30 Aug. 2016,

Clausen, Christina, director. The Universe of Keith Haring . Youtube, 2008,

Fahd, Marcelino Y. “Keith Haring at the Pinnacle.” Chicago Reader, Sun-Times Media,

“Keith Haring Biography, Art, and Analysis of Works.” The Art Story, The Art Story Foundation ,

“Keith Haring.” Keith Haring, The Keith Haring Foundation ,

Kinsella, Eileen. “Experts: Trove of Harings and Warhols Is Fake.” Artnet News, Artnet News, 13 Apr. 2015,

“Murals Map .” Murals Map | Keith Haring, The Keith Haring Foundation ,!/archives/murals-map.

Pogatchnik, Shawn. “Chicago Art Students Brush Up Their Talents.” Tribunedigital-Chicagotribune, Chicago Tribune , 18 May 1989,

“Pop Shop History.”, The Keith Haring Foundation ,

Strasnick, Stephanie. “'Lick Boy Fat Art': Keith Haring's Language Art Decoded.” ARTnews, ARTNEWS, 30 Dec. 2013,

TheMotiondevotion. “10 Years Later - KEITH HARING Chicago Mural Project @ Museum of Science & Industry.” YouTube, YouTube, 10 May 2012,

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