A Keith Haring mural that has been out of public view for 30 years will be auctioned for charity

November 8, 2022

Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s; ‘Mural for The Mount Sinai Hospital, New York’ by Keith Haring

A forgotten Keith Haring mural that has sat in storage for over 30 years is being shown in public for the first time and auctioned off for charity. Created in 1986 by the legendary pop artist, Haring drew the mural within the Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital to instill hope in the young patients who were staying in the facility, as first reported by Time Out NY. The building was torn down in 1989 to make space for the Guggenheim Pavilion, but the mural was saved and placed in storage.

At the center of the 15-foot-wide image is a two-headed dog with five pairs of sneakers. Located directly above is a caterpillar accompanied by another “bendable creature,” according to Sotheby’s. In the bottom left of the mural is a caricature of a child, meant to represent the many young residents of the hospital.

Haring reportedly visited the hospital on three separate occasions, traveling to different rooms and drawing his iconic pop art for different patients on a notepad. On his third visit to the facility, Haring expressed that he wanted to draw a mural on the second floor of the children’s wing.

After being given the green light, Haring began his work directly on the hospital’s wallpaper, as staff and residents piled out into the hallway to see the master at work. The mural created a conversation between Haring and the children about the “intersection of imagination and art” in accessible ways.

“Mural for The Mount Sinai Hospital, New York” is being auctioned for between $500,000 and $700,000. It will be open for public viewing at Sotheby’s York Avenue gallery through November 16 and put up for auction on November 17.

Once sold, a portion of the profits will be given to the Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital and Mount Sinai Children’s Health for their programs and clinical care.

“Hospitalization and illness can be traumatic for children, adolescents and families,” Diane Rode, Senior Director of Patient and Family Centered Care at the Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital, said in a statement to Time Out. “In his visits to Mount Sinai’s young patients, Keith Haring showed us the direct power and place of art, play, and imagination in humanizing healthcare.”

“In this dynamic work, which he created with children in wheelchairs looking on, the artist shares his great empathy, energy, and sense of hope. This work uniquely captures the spirit of Keith Haring, his commitment to touching the lives of children and families, and to the powerful intention of his visits to Mount Sinai—to spark optimism, creativity, and community.”


More information on the auction can be found here.


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