Gallery 98

ART EPHEMERA 1960s – 1990s

Gallery 98 is for collectors and researchers. We specialize in announcement cards, posters, publications and other art ephemera from the 1960s - 1990s. For all inquiries: | Sign up for our Newsletter    

Keith Haring Ephemera, 1979 -1990

NyTalkCover copy

By Marc H. Miller

e•phem•er•a (noun) things that are important or useful for only a short time; items that were not meant to have lasting value; items of collectible memorabilia, typically written or printed ones, that were originally expected to have only short-term usefulness or popularity.

For Keith Haring the line separating fine art and ephemera was thin. His meteoritic career was marked by an unrelenting succession of works cutting across every medium and category of art, but his approach to making art was remarkably consistent whether he was making a large outdoor mural, a commercial illustration or a small invitation to an event. His works favor spontaneity, and utilize an ever-evolving personal repertory of symbols, lines and shapes. This online exhibition spotlights his exhibition posters, invitation cards, promotional giveaways, and designs for record covers. Although these items were all intended for transitory purposes, they retain ongoing interest not only as markers of important events in Haring’s life, but also as aesthetic objects in their own right.

The art world that Haring entered in the late 1970s and early 1980s was unusually conducive to the emergence of ephemera as a treasured art form. Young artists who arrived in New York and found that the established galleries were closed to them had to find alternative ways to establish themselves and make a living through their art. Some turned to the street and subways where art competed with advertising and was vulnerable to destruction; and others participated in nightclub exhibitions intermixing art with music and performance that became a form of popular entertainment. Without access to wealthy collectors, artists welcomed commercial assignments and were ready to make low-priced multiples for popular consumption. All of this was reinforced by the post-pop aesthetic of the time, an environment sympathetic to populism and vernacular formats and images. Haring’s innate ability to communicate with people, his unselfconscious and rapid art making, and his affable social nature allowed him to excel in all the new venues. Open to new ideas and generous, Haring was always ready to design an invitation, provide a cover for a record or a poster for a worthy cause, and create free giveaways or inexpensive multiples for his broad base of fans.

EXHIBITION HIGHLIGHTS: Haring’s very first publication embellished with an original crawling baby drawing on the back cover (1981); an invitation to the nightclub Palladium printed on gym shorts for Keith’s Third Annual Party for Life celebrating his birthday (1986); a poster for Haring’s exhibition at the Tony Shafrazi Gallery (1983) with Tseng Kwong Chi’s photo of dancer Bill T. Jones body-painted by Haring; the record album A Diamond Hidden in the Mouth of a Corpse featuring drawings by Haring on the cover, inside the gatefold, and on the inner paper sleeve (1985).


Exhibition Items

(Please click individual items for price and full description)

Sheet of Keith Haring work

Haring Handout From The Time of His Westbeth Exhibition, 1981

Keith Haring lithograph front of card

Barbara Gladstone Gallery, Keith Haring, 6 Lithographs, Card, 1982


AREA, Keith Haring, The 27th Birthday of Juan Dubose, Card, 1986

LLBB postcard

Paradise Garage, Keith Haring, Birthday Party for DJ Larry Levan, 1986

Fun Gallery invite illustrated by Keith Haring

Fun Gallery, Keith Haring, Card, 1983


Keith Haring, Poster, Fun Gallery, 1983

Keith haring postcard with Bill T Joens

Keith Haring at Tony Shafrazi Gallery, 1983

Front of Keith haring poster

Keith Haring at Tony Shafrazi Gallery, 1983

Keith Haring Shafrazi poster

Keith Haring, Into 84, Bill T. Jones Poster, Tony Shafrazi Gallery, 1983

Tony Shafrazi Gallery, Keith Haring, Fertility Suite Complete Promotional Postcard Set, 1983

Keith Haring poster for Tony Shafrazi and Leo Castelli

Keith Haring, Framed Poster, Leo Castelli & Tony Shafrazi, 1985

keith haring shafrazi

Tony Shafrazi Gallery, Keith Haring, Recent Work, Card, 1989

Keith Haring card for Tony Shafrazi and Leo Castelli - front of card features a painting of a cartoon pig, throwing up green capitalist refuse

Leo Castelli, Tony Shafrazi, Keith Haring, Card, 1985

Keith Haring, Poster, Tony Shafrazi Gallery, 1988

south africa

Keith Haring, “Free South Africa” Pinback Button, 1985

2nd party front

Keith Haring, “Second Annual Party of Life” Pinback Button, 1985


Keith Haring, “Second Annual Party of Life” Puzzle, 1985

party pin

Keith Haring, Party of Life Pinback, 1986

Closeup of shorts illustrated by Keith Harinf

Palladium, “Keith Haring’s Third Annual Party of Life”, Shorts, 1986

white t-shirt designed by Keith Haring with a winged tv on the front

Keith Haring, The Comic Art Show T-Shirt, Whitney Museum – Downtown Branch, 1983

Plastic Bag - Shopping Bag from Haring’s “Pop Shop,”

Shopping Bag from Haring’s “Pop Shop,” 1985

poster for Keith Haring Pop Shop

Combination Poster / Catalog for Haring’s “Pop Shop,” 1988


Keith Haring, Crawling Baby, Pinback, 1986

Keith Haring, Barking Dog Pinback, c. Mid 1980s

Keith Haring, Two Figures Pinback, c. Mid 1980s


Keith Haring, “Face” Pinback Button, 1985

Keith Haring, David Bowie’s Without You, 45rpm Vinyl Record, 1983


Keith Haring, Malcolm McLaren, Duck Rock, 45rpm Vinyl Record, 1983


Keith Haring, Sylvester, Someone Like You, 33rpm Vinyl Maxi-Single, 1986


Keith Haring, Emanon, The Baby Beat Box, 33rpm Vinyl Record, 1986

Keith Haring, BIPO, “Life is Fresh, Crack is Whack,” 33rpm Vinyl Record, 1987


Keith Haring, William Burroughs, Various Artists, A Diamond Hidden in the Mouth of a Corpse LP, 1985

keith haring card

“Dance On The Lower East Side,” 1983

Book Country Keith Haring poster

“New York Is Book Country,” 1985

keith haring soho training center illustration

Soho Training Center, Keith Haring, Advertisement Card, 1985

roxy homeless

The Roxy, “Help the Homeless,” Keith Haring, Lou Reed, Futura 2000, Kenny Scharf, Folded Card, 1985

front of Pro Peace pamphlet illustrated by Keith Haring

Palladium, Keith Haring, The Great Peace March Benefit, 3-Fold Pamphlet, 1986

New Music cover by Keith Haring

“New Music Distribution Service” Catalog, 1986

Photo of Keith Haring and William S Burroughs

Keith Haring & William S. Burroughs at Charles Lucien Gallery, 1990


Tseng Kwong Chi, Keith Haring, Art In Transit, Book, Harmony Books, 1984


DETAILS Magazine, Vol. 5 No. 6, 1986/12 (December), Keith Haring as Santa, Anya, Bill Cunningham, Holiday Issue

Keith haring philip glass kutztown new arts program

Kutztown New Arts Program, Keith Haring, Jon Gibson, Philip Glass, Fall Newsletter, 1987