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Bob Dylan’s Portrait on View at the National Portrait Gallery

October 14, 2016

Versión en español

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery celebrates the accomplishments of the singer and songwriter Bob Dylan, who was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature Oct. 13. The Portrait Gallery has two portraits of Dylan, who is considered one of the world’s most influential musicians. One of those likenesses is a photograph taken by John Cohen in 1962. This portrait will be installed in the museum’s “Celebrate” space on the first floor this Monday. Media are invited for an open house to view and photograph the portrait Monday, Oct. 17, at 11:30 a.m.

Dylan’s career has been a constant series of surprises, reversals and new directions, from his roots as a New York “folkie,” channeling Woody Guthrie, to his fascination with the Old Testament. In 1965, Dylan turned everything upside down by marrying his deeply rooted poetic lyrics to the sonic power of the electric guitar.

The Nobel Prize committee cited Dylan “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”

Image is available for press at; it can also be photographed or filmed in the museum. For access, contact Evanne Allen at

National Portrait Gallery

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery tells the multifaceted story of America through the individuals who have shaped its culture. Through the visual arts, performing arts and new media, the Portrait Gallery portrays poets and presidents, visionaries and villains, actors and activists whose lives tell the American story.

The National Portrait Gallery is part of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American

Art and Portraiture at Eighth and F streets N.W., Washington, D.C. Smithsonian Information: (202) 633-1000. Website: Connect with the museum at Facebook; Instagram; blog; Twitter and YouTube.

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Media only   
Bethany Bentley
(202) 633-8293

Evanne Allen 
(202) 633-2585

young Dylan with guitar and harmonica
Related photos: 

Bob Dylan

Black and white photo of young Dylan with harmonica and guitar

. © John Cohen, courtesy L. Parker Stephenson Photographs, NYC

Bob Dylan by John Cohen. Gelatin silver print, 1962. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

© John Cohen, courtesy L. Parker Stephenson Photographs, NYC