First major exhibit from Bob Dylan Archives opens May 10 at Gilcrease

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James D. Watts Jr.

A new exhibit on the life and work of Bob Dylan, centered on 12 pastel portraits that make up his “Face Value” series, will go on display May 10 at Gilcrease Museum.

The exhibit, titled “Bob Dylan: Face Value and Beyond,” is the first major show to be drawn from the Bob Dylan Archives since it was acquired by the George Kaiser Family Foundation and the University of Tulsa in 2016. It will remain on display at Gilcrease through Sept. 15.

“It might seem like something of a curve ball to have an exhibit built around a series of paintings,” said Michael Chaiken, curator of the Bob Dylan Archives as well as the curator of the upcoming exhibit. “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.

“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,” Chaiken said. “This show is an opportunity to explore all those different avenues of Dylan’s creativity.”

The 12 portraits that make up the “Face Value” series were first shown at the National Portrait Gallery in London in 2013. Its only showing in the United States was a two-month exhibit in early 2016 at Kent State University in Ohio. The series was purchased by an Arizona couple who are loaning the portraits for the exhibit.

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