Bob Dylan to exhibit portraits and handwritten lyrics at Tulsa’s Gilcrease Museum

US legend Bob Dylan performs onstage during the 21st edition of the Vieilles Charrues music festival on July 22, 2012 in Carhaix-Plouguer, western France. (AFP pic)

Opening on May 10, “Bob Dylan: Face Value and Beyond” features pieces from The Bob Dylan Archive – which has more than 100,000 items from across the artist’s 60-year career.

The exhibition in Tulsa, Oklahoma will display 12 pastel portraits from the “Face Value” series, which is known as Bob Dylan’s first foray into portraiture.

It also features archival manuscripts and objects exclusive to The Bob Dylan Archive, such as handwritten lyrics to some of his best-known songs.

Other highlights of the show include 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, which contain a number of personal references and effects.

“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,” Michael Chaiken, the curator of The Bob Dylan Archive, told local daily newspaper Tulsa World.

“Bob Dylan: Face Value and Beyond” is the first major show from The Bob Dylan Archive, housed at the University of Tulsa, since it was acquired by the George Kaiser Family Foundation and the University in 2016.

Unlike previous displays, the exhibition will give more context to the portraits of “Face Value” – which were first shown at London’s National Gallery in 2013.

“Here we’re able to highlight the fact that there is a precedent for those portraits,” explained Michael Chaiken to Tulsa World.

“Bob Dylan has been painting and drawing since at least the 1960s, although it’s only been in recent years that he’s put his work on display. So we have a lot of material to illustrate that, including drawings and sketchbooks that have never been shown before.”

“Bob Dylan: Face Value and Beyond” will be on show at Tulsa’s Gilcrease Museum from May 10 to Sept 15.