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Rotating display of objects from Keith Haring's Pop Shop Tokyo on view at the New-York Historical Society
Keith Haring, Fan, 1987. Keith Haring artwork © Keith Haring Foundation.
NEW YORK, NY.- In 1986, internationally famed artist Keith Haring (1958-1990) opened the Pop Shop at 292 Lafayette Street. Following the artist’s untimely death, the Keith Haring Foundation donated the ceiling of the Pop Shop to the New-York Historical Society, where the work, with its bold and lively design, now hovers above the admissions area. The New-York Historical Society is collaborating with the Keith Haring Foundation in installing a rotating display of Pop Shop Tokyo items and related materials in the Henry Luce III Center for the Study of American Culture at New-York Historical. All objects on view in the rotating display are on loan from the Keith Haring Foundation Archive.

In 1987, the success of the Pop Shop led Haring to collaborate on a Tokyo venue with his friends, Japanese film producer Kaz Kuzui and his American wife, film director Fran Rubel Kuzui (Tokyo Pop, 1988). The shop, located in the Aoyama neighborhood of Tokyo, was made out of two shipping containers welded together to form one large room. While the shop was conceived very much in the image of its New York counterpart, many of the products were created by Haring to mirror Japan’s cultural traditions. Haring did extensive design work in Tokyo; fans and kimonos were manufactured in Kyoto, and rice bowl templates were painted and then produced in Nagoya. With speed and virtuosity, Haring began painting the interior of the shop on Wednesday, January 27, 1988 and finished the next day. The paint was still tacky on Friday, January 29 when he oversaw the installation of the displays in time for a press preview that evening—exactly 25 years ago. On Saturday, January 30, Pop Shop Tokyo opened to the public. However, sales were disappointing, and Haring noted “there are just too many Haring fakes available all over Tokyo and, this time, they’re really well done.” The shop closed in the summer of 1988.

Items on display in this rotation include an illuminated paper lantern hand-painted by Haring, store merchandise designed by Haring such as a paper fan, ceramic rice bowls, stickers and bags, buttons and cards, and videos of Tokyo interviews with Haring as well as behind the scenes footage of Pop Shop Tokyo’s creation.

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