Bob Dylan to Exhibit Portraits, Handwritten Lyrics at Tulsa Art Museum

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Daniel Kreps

Bob Dylan: Face Value and Beyond, opening this May, will also display Dylan’s Andy Warhol screen tests, leather jacket from “electric” 1965 Newport Folk Festival gig.

Bob Dylan’s artwork and handwritten song lyrics will exhibit at a Tulsa, Oklahoma art museum beginning in May.

The Gilcrease Museum’s “Bob Dylan: Face Value and Beyond” will feature 12 pastel portraits – similar to the one featured on the 2013 archival release Another Self Portrait – by the rock legend. The art exhibit is also Dylan’s first since the massive, 100,000-item Bob Dylan Archives was donated to the University of Tulsa in 2016.

“It might seem like something of a curve ball to have an exhibit built around a series of paintings. But it’s really a kind of sneaky way to show what the archive truly is — something that showcases what a truly multifaceted artist Bob Dylan is,” Michael Chaiken, the curator of the Bob Dylan Archives, told Tulsa World.

“He’s best known for his music, but Dylan is also a writer of prose, a filmmaker, and someone who has been involved in the visual arts for decades. This show is an opportunity to explore all those different avenues of Dylan’s creativity.”

The portraits in “Face Value and Beyond” previously exhibited in London in 2013 and Kent State University in Ohio in 2016 before they were purchased by an Arizona couple who loaned the works to the Tulsa museum.

“One reason why this exhibit could only be done is Tulsa is that we have, with the archive, a wealth of supporting material,” Chaiken added. “When the ‘Face Value’ portraits have been shown before, there was no material that gave the portraits any real context. But here we’re able to highlight the fact that there is a precedent for those portraits.”

Chaiken added the exhibit would also feature “drawings and sketchbooks that have never been shown before,” as well as items culled from the Archives: Handwritten lyrics to some of Dylan’s greatest songs, screen tests filmed by Andy Warhol and the leather jacket Dylan wore the night he went “electric” at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival will also display.

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