Collecting Bob Dylan

Courtesy of Peter Harrington

Prints from the "Drawn Blank" Series by Bob Dylan, 2008.

Music icon Bob Dylan offers collectors several directions: books, manuscripts, photographs, letters, albums, concert tickets and posters, and song lyrics. The winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature, Dylan is nothing if not prolific -- and very collectible. Our subscribers may already be familiar with the topic, since our current issue’s cover feature describes how the Bob Dylan Archive and the Woody Guthrie Center are invigorating the city of Tulsa. The article pointed out that Dylan’s artwork — yet another collecting direction — is currently on view at the Gilcrease Museum in an exhibition titled Face Value, which debuted at London's National Portrait Gallery in 2015 and showcases the rock legend’s pastel portraits alongside related manuscripts and memorabilia.

Which is why UK bookseller Peter Harrington’s latest catalogue, featuring modern and contemporary prints, art, and photobooks, caught my attention, offering, among many other delights, Dylan’s limited edition “Drawn Blank” series (pictured above). The ten prints were made in a signed and numbered edition of 295 and include Lakeside Cabin; Dad’s Restaurant; Statue of Liberty; Cassandra; Sidewalk Café; Vista from Balcony; Woman on a Bed; Sunday Afternoon; Two Sisters and Bragg Apartment, and New York City. The price of the set at £20,000 ($26,000+) is a little more than double that of, say, a signed first pre-trade edition of his first book, Tarantula (1966) at Raptis Rare Books, but far short of the $2 million paid at Sotheby's for his handwritten “Like a Rolling Stone" lyrics. That one may have been an anomaly, but then again, Dylan's star seems destined never to fade.