Keith Haring mural

Keith Haring. Tuttomondo, 1986. Pisa, Italy. Photo by


American Art of the 1980s

Wednesdays, September 11 and 18, October 2, 16, and 23, 10:30 am–12:00 pm

About the Program

Post-modernism, graffiti, technological innovations, and the changing role of museums in 1980s America have defined the vibrant creativity of our time. Keith Haring, Barbara Kruger, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and other art-world superstars who continue to dominate the market and pack exhibitions rose to prominence during this time. This lecture series examines the cultural and economic forces that have shaped contemporary art. Learn about the personalities, motives, and legacy of this era, while also gaining an understanding of whether this art captures America’s character.

Instructor: John Paul Thornton is the author of the book Art and Courage: Stories to Inspire the Artist-Warrior Within. He has worked with the United Nations Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and he has been honored by the California State Senate as well as the United States Congress for his programs promoting art, personal growth, and education.

“It is a rare opportunity to learn from a person of this high quality and knowledge.”—former Skirball student