The Dutch adventures of Keith Haring. Amsterdam notes. Author: Chris Reinewald. Published by Dutch Graffiti Library. In collaboration with Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

Who could have anticipated that taking art off the streets and bringing it into the museum would precipitate such outrage?

When American artist Keith Haring, then 27, comes to the Netherlands for his first solo exhibition in Amsterdam in the spring of 1986, he doesn’t spend all his time at the Stedelijk Museum. He goes out, to into the city, making friends with teenage graffiti-artists near his hotel. With his vibrant bouncy figures and easy going attitude Keith is a perfect match.

Unlike the masses of visitors who flock to the show Dutch art critics and Amsterdam squatters/artists accuse Haring of superficial opportunism, ignoring how he addresses gay culture, AIDS, Apartheid and environmental issues. The theft of a homo-erotic drawing during the opening, followed by blackmail put the Stedelijk Museum and Haring in a tight spot.

An inside story by Chris Reinewald (1955), published by Dutch Graffiti Library, about Keith Haring (1958-1990) in Holland, just before his worldwide breakthrough. Plus: never shown works by Haring and the Dutch graffiti scene of the 1980’s.

The Dutch adventures of Keith Haring
Amsterdam notes

First edition of 750 copies
128 pages
Text in English
Paperback, unfold cover

The official book presentation that we planned for this in collaboration with the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam has been postponed, but we still wanted to give people the opportunity to read this unique story right now. That is why “The Dutch adventures of Keith Haring” is available from Friday, April 3 for a special price of € 19.95.

Read the story

“The Dutch adventures of Keith Haring” is an improved version of the digital longread ‘HARING WAS HERE’ published at for the occasion of Keith Harings reinstalled velum, September 2017 at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. This text has been enlarged and enriched by images from the archives of the Stedelijk Museum, Dutch Graffiti Library and private persons. Most of them are published here for the first time.

Keith Haring artwork © Keith Haring Foundation