Bob Dylan: Face Value and Beyond Exhibition Adds Never-Before-Seen Items from Blood on the Tracks Era

Face Value and BeyondThe Tulsa exhibition focuses on Dylan’s visual art, featuring his Face Value portrait series, along with historic lyric manuscripts and ephemera from The Bob Dylan Archive® collection.

The Bob Dylan Center℠ has updated its exhibition, Bob Dylan: Face Value and Beyond with never-before-seen items from Dylan’s mid-1970s period that produced the renowned album Blood on the Tracks and the Rolling Thunder Revue tour.

The exhibition, at Tulsa’s Gilcrease Museum, has been extended through Jan. 5, 2020.

In addition to its exploration of Dylan’s visual art, Face Value and Beyond features the first public display of the “blue notebook” in which Dylan began composing the lyrics that became Blood on the Tracks, released in 1975. The “blue notebook” now is accompanied by additional material from the era, including items recently donated to the archive by Kevin Odegard, one of the Minnesota-based musicians who backed Dylan on recording sessions for Blood on the Tracks.

Odegard donated the Martin acoustic guitar he played on “Tangled Up in Blue” to the archive, among many other items related to his recording sessions with Dylan.

“Playing on ‘Tangled Up in Blue’ was the greatest thrill of my career,” said Odegard, who wrote A Simple Twist of Fate: Bob Dylan and the Making of Blood on the Tracks with rock journalist Andy Gill. “My second greatest thrill is sharing that guitar with generations to come.”

Aside from presenting the many facets of Dylan’s artistry, the exhibition also serves as a sneak preview of the Bob Dylan Center, currently under development in the Tulsa Arts District.

“We have no plans to exhibit these archival items again before the Bob Dylan Center opens in 2021,” says Steve Higgins, managing director of the American Song Archives, which operates the Dylan archive as well as the Woody Guthrie Center. “Even if you’ve already seen Face Value and Beyond, the new material is well worth a return visit.”

The exhibition, which opened in May, includes the first regional showing of Dylan’s renowned Face Value portrait series, as well as drawings, filmed performances, writings, personal effects and ephemera.

One of the most important cultural figures of our time, Bob Dylan has been creating visual art since the 1960s, but only began exhibiting his work publicly in 2007. The 12 pastel portraits in Face Value represent Bob Dylan’s first public foray into portraiture, having debuted at London’s National Portrait Gallery in 2013 and shown in the U.S. only briefly in 2015. The exhibition also premieres drawings and sketches from The Bob Dylan Archive® collection, including two recently unearthed Dylan sketchbooks from 1970 and a series of never-before-seen artworks originally created by Dylan for his 1973 book Writings and Drawings, only a fraction of which appeared in that volume or have ever been reproduced in any form.

Bob Dylan: Face Value and Beyond also features archival manuscripts and objects exclusive to The Bob Dylan Archive® collection, including handwritten lyrics to some of the artist’s best-known songs that reveal a glimpse into Dylan’s creative process through the artist’s many visible edits. The exhibition includes numerous elements spanning five decades, including two silent Andy Warhol–directed “Screen Tests,” of Dylan, the leather jacket worn by the artist at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965 when he famously unveiled his new electric sound, and a wallet and address book from the mid-1960s that contain a number of personal references and effects.

Bob Dylan: Face Value and Beyond runs through Jan. 5. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.