Keith Haring was born in Reading, Pennsylvania but grew up in nearby Kutztown, where he lived until he moved to Pittsburgh in 1976 to attend art school. In 1978, he moved to New York City, where he found success within the pop art scene, and later became an avid social activist in the midst of the AIDS crisis. In 1990, Haring tragically succumbed to complications related to the illness at the age of 31.
In spite of his worldwide fame, Haring always stayed true to his roots, often referring to himself as “Keith from Kutztown.” To commemorate the love he never lost for his hometown, the Keith Haring Foundation gifted his 1989 sculpture “Untitled (Figure Balancing on Dog)” to Kutztown Park in 1992, where it remains today. Prior to its placement in Kutztown Park, the sculpture was displayed at the Tony Shafrazi Gallery in New York City during one of the last showings of Haring’s work during his lifetime.
Haring’s lifelong philosophy was that art belongs to the people and in public, not kept away in exclusive galleries, and “Untitled (Figure Balancing on Dog)” is one of the greatest attestations of the legacy he hoped to leave behind.
Know Before You Go
Kutztown Park is situated at the center of town, and is easily accessible from Main Street. The sculpture is located between the park's baseball field and playground, and while it is not easily visible from the street, it can be seen by taking a quick walk through the park past the bandshell.