Tags for: Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks
  • Special Exhibition
old school composition book defaced with scribbles and tape

Untitled Notebook (front cover), 1980–81. Jean-Michel Basquiat (American, 1960–1988). Mixed media on board; 9 5/8 x 7 5/8 x 1/4 in. Collection of Larry Warsh. Copyright © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat, all rights reserved. Licensed by Artestar, New York. Photo: Sarah DeSantis, Brooklyn Museum

Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks

Sunday, January 22–Sunday, April 23, 2017
Location:  004 Special Exhibition Gallery
The Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation Gallery

About The Exhibition

Brooklyn-born artist Jean-Michel Basquiat filled numerous notebooks with poetry, wordplay, sketches, and personal observations ranging from street life and popular culture to themes of race, class, and world history. The first major exhibition of the artist’s notebooks, Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks features over 150 pages of these rarely seen documents, along with related works on paper and large-scale paintings.
A self-taught artist with wide-ranging interests, Basquiat was influenced by comics, advertising, popular culture, African American history, and everyday life. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks emphasizes the distinct interplay of text and images in Basquiat’s art, providing unprecedented insight into the importance of language in the artist’s process.
A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition.

Tickets for Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks are $10 for adults; seniors and college students $8; children ages 6–17 $5; children 5 and under free. Museum members free; member guests $5, member guest FREE Days: Wed, 4/5–Sun, 4/16

See It First, See It Free: Member Preview Days 

  • Fri, 1/20, 5:00–9:00 p.m.
  • Sat, 1/21, 10:00–5:00 p.m.


Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks is organized by the Brooklyn Museum and is curated by Dieter Buchhart, guest curator, with Tricia Laughlin Bloom, former Associate Curator of Exhibitions, Brooklyn Museum.


Special thanks to Larry Warsh and Lio Malca.