Bob Dylan Center to Open In Tulsa in May 2022

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Bob Dylan on stage in 1974 (Photo by Barry Feinstein, used with permission)

The Bob Dylan Center will open on May 10, 2022, with more than 100,000 items from the Bob Dylan Archive. These include handwritten lyric manuscripts to some of Dylan’s songs, previously unreleased recordings, never-before-seen film performances, rare and unseen photographs, visual art and other items spanning Dylan’s career.

Located in Tulsa’s arts district near the city’s Woody Guthrie Center, the Bob Dylan Center is being designed by the architectural and exhibit design firm Olson Kundig, led by design principal Alan Maskin. The BDC, says a May 14 press release, “will feature cutting-edge and immersive technology in a multimedia environment that is designed to be as impressive and revealing to visitors new to Dylan’s work as it will be to long-time fans and aficionados.”

Located in the former Tulsa Paper Factory in the Tulsa Arts District, the Bob Dylan Center’s two-story façade features a mural of a 1966 photograph of Dylan, taken by photographer Jerry Schatzberg

Among the highlights that will be found at the Bob Dylan Center are:

An ever-evolving curated display of elements that illuminate the depth and breadth of the Bob Dylan Archive collection.

[Dylan turns 80 on May 24, 2021.]

An immersive film experience that will initiate visitors through an innovative cascade of archival music and film, directed by renowned Dylan chronicler Jennifer Lebeau.

A recreation of an authentic studio environment where visitors will experience what it was like to be present at one of Dylan’s historic recording sessions.

The Columbia Records Gallery, which will provide an in-depth look at the creation, performance and production of timeless Dylan songs such as “Like a Rolling Stone,” “Tangled Up in Blue” and “Chimes of Freedom.”

Interior of the Bob Dylan Center

A screening room that will showcase Dylan-related scripted films, documentaries and concert performances, including never-before-seen material unearthed from the Archive.

A multimedia timeline of Dylan’s life from his early years in Minnesota through the present day, written by award-winning historian Sean Wilentz.

The Parker Brothers Gallery, which will explore the creative process through the work of other innovative artists, in an initial exhibit curated by influential author Lewis Hyde.

One example of the items to be found in the Bob Dylan Archive is a recording of Dylan performing “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” in the autumn of 1962. This heretofore-unknown recording was made by Milton (Mell) and Lillian Bailey, friends and early champions of the young Dylan when he was a fixture in New York’s Greenwich Village folk scene. This version of the song, recorded in the Baileys’ apartment at 185 East 3rd St., features alternate lyrics and is the earliest known recording of the song that was eventually released in 1963 on The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan.

Another example is a recently unearthed image of Dylan on stage during his 1974 tour with The Band, taken by renowned photographer Barry Feinstein.

59 Productions, specialists in design for stage and live events (including the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, the David Bowie Is exhibition and the decor concept design for the Met Ball), is collaborating with Olson Kundig on the exhibition design and media development.

Related: Our review of the Bob Dylan 1970 collection

The three-story façade of the Bob Dylan Center will face downtown Tulsa’s public gathering space, Guthrie Green, and will depict a rare 1965 image of Dylan, donated to the center by photographer Jerry Schatzberg.

Founding Memberships in the Bob Dylan Center, which include lifetime memberships to the both the BDC and the Woody Guthrie Center as well as permanent recognition on the Center’s donor wall, are available now here. Annual memberships to the Bob Dylan Center will become available later this year, including combined membership opportunities for both the BDC and its neighbor, the Woody Guthrie Center.

Information regarding public admission to the Bob Dylan Center will be released later this year.

Watch Dylan perform “Only a Pawn in Their Game” at the 1963 March on Washington, a video streaming at the Bob Dylan Center website

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