Bob Dylan’s Treasure Trove: Collection of Items Sold
Bob Dylan has just sold a personal collection of over 6,000 previously unknown personal artefacts to the University of Tulsa, to be made available to scholars and curated for public exhibition. The collection includes handwritten lyrics, poems, private notes and letters; as well as audio and video recordings and has been accumulated over the entire span of Dylan’s career. The archive was previewed by the New York Times and is rumoured to have fetched an estimated sum of $20 million.
Bob Dylan Performing
This treasure trove is said to contain the master tapes of Dylan’s entire recording catalogue, along with hundreds of hours of private footage. Amongst these tapes are original Blood On The Tracks notebooks, handwritten lyrics to “Chimes of Freedom,” “Ballad of a Thin Man” and “Dignity” and footage of the artist performing at Toronto’s Massey Hall in 1980, New York’s Supper Club in 1993 and rehearsing for the 1975 Rolling Thunder Revue. There’s also a manuscript of his 1971 book Tarantula, hundred of tape reels and a 1978 postcard from Barbra Streisand. The items will be housed in Tulsa’s Gilcrease Museum.
Bob Dylan in a Recording Session
While private artefacts from major rock acts like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Who have been sold at auction houses for decades, Dylan has never really engaged in such activity. Despite his regard as “the voice of a generation” for the decade between 1960s and 1970s where he released his most influential material, Dylan has largely kept his items out of the public eye; resulting in high prices when they occasionally come up for auction.
A portrait of a young Bob Dylan
For example, in 2013 the electric guitar he sold at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival sold for approximately $1 million. In addition to this, 3 years ago, a handwritten copy of the song “Like a Rolling Stone” sold for over $2 million in a New York action. The Dylan camp eventually hired an archivist to sort through his private collection and brought in Horowitz to reach out to prospective buyers. George B. Kaiser, the chairman of the BOK Financial Corporation, provided the majority of the funds for the deal, which was brokered by Glenn Horowitz, a New York-based rare book dealer. The collection is estimated to be worth more than $60 million, and since Dylan sold it for about a third of that, he will likely be able to claim it as a significant charitable donation for tax purposes.
Bob Dylan Rockin a Scarf in 1973
It is unclear why Dylan has decided to sell, though Tulsa is also the home of a museum dedicated to folk singer Woody Guthrie, one of Dylan’s early influences, which he alluded to in a statement this week, stating “I’m glad that my archives, which have been collected all these years, have finally found a home and are to be included with the works of Woody Guthrie … To me, it makes a lot of sense and it’s a great honour”
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