Sat 17 Nov 2018
Bob Dylan goes electric at the American Writers Museum! Rock out with us during opening weekend of our newest exhibit, Bob Dylan: Electric.
Bob Dylan: Electric spotlights Dylan’s writing – song, poetry, and prose – between his 1965 Newport Folk Festival performance and 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature and the impact his work has had on American writing and culture. The exhibit will include both the American bluesmen and folk singers that influenced Dylan, as well as the younger writers and musicians that cite Dylan as a significant influence today.
The exhibit's keystone piece is the electric guitar Bob Dylan played at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, one of music's most iconic instruments. The performance, referred to as “The Newport Incident,” is his first ever live performance with a full, electric band and marked a dramatic shift in his writing and popularity.
Other items on display include Bob Dylan’s personal, inscribed copy of "Catcher in the Rye" and an original 1965 Newport Folk Festival program autographed by Dylan. Also included are original pages from the film script of the 1967 Bob Dylan documentary "Don't Look Back," Dylan’s collection of prose and poetry "Tarantula," and original, handwritten lyrics to some of Dylan's classic songs.
Bob Dylan: Electric is curated exclusively for the American Writers Museum by Alan Light, author, journalist, rock critic and music scholar of great renown. This exhibit marks the first opportunity the public will have to see many of the items up-close and in-person.
The guitar, a 1964 brown sunburst Fender Stratocaster, was discovered in 2012 by the family of an airline pilot who flew Bob Dylan from the Newport Folk Festival and sold for nearly $1 million, the highest price ever paid for a guitar at auction, a year later. The guitar is on loan from the collection of James S. Irsay.
Bob Dylan: Electric coincides with our Singer & Songwriters programs, a series of intimate events throughout the exhibit’s planned six-month run. Current songwriters and musicians from a wide array of genres, including Grammy-nominated folk singer Robbie Fulks on December 1, will discuss their writing processes and the impact songwriting has had on American writing.
“The world knows Bob Dylan as a prolific songwriter. Bob Dylan: Electric gives the public a chance to see how his writing shaped more than just American music but American literature as a whole.” -Carey Cranston, President of the American Writers Museum