Bob Dylan: Face Value

National Portrait Gallery

24 August 2013 – 5 January 2014

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A collection of pastel portraits by the musician make their first appearance at a museum in a Britain.

Nina Felix by Bob Dylan, 2013

The exhibition is an unusual choice for the National Portrait Gallery, as Dylan's portraits are not of subjects from British public life, past or present, nor are they made by a working portrait artist. 

But that's not to say Dylan was a frivolous choice; he has been sketching and drawing since childhood and painting since the late 1960s.

Starting out on the exhibition circuit six years ago, he has previously shown his artwork in galleries across Germany, Copenhagen, New York and Milan.

The characters in Dylan's portraits are an amalgamation of features he has 'collected' from life, memory and his imagination and fashioned into people.

Art historian John Elderfield, who was instrumental in bringing the display to the National Portrait Gallery, says that, Dylan's paintings are like his songs in that they are 'products of the same extraordinary, inventive imagination, the same mind and eye, by the same story-telling artist, for whom showing and telling are not easily separated.'

Venue information

Opening times

Sat – Wed, 10am – 6pm
Thu – Fri, 10am – 9pm

Closed 24 – 26 Dec

"Art Fund" is the operating name of the National Art Collections Fund, a charity registered in England and Wales (209174) and Scotland (SC038331)