Bob Dylan: Electric showcases Bob Dylan’s influence on American culture, music, and writing.

TUESDAY October 23, 2018 — An unparalleled display of Bob Dylan’s contributions to American music and American literature will be unveiled at American Writers Museum on November 16,2018 and open to the public through Fall 2019. Sponsored by The Poetry Foundation (Lead Sponsor), Bob Dylan: Electric spotlights Dylan’s writing – song, poetry, and prose – between his 1965 Newport Folk Festival performance and 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature. Items on display include Bob Dylan’s personal copy of The Catcher in the Rye and an original 1965 Newport Folk Festival program autographed by Dylan. The exhibit’s keystone piece is the electric guitar Bob Dylan played at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. 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.

Bob Dylan: Electric is a first-of-its-kind experience. American Writers Museum is honored to present one of music’s most iconic instruments together with a unique collection of musical, literary, and cultural artifacts,” says Carey Cranston, American Writers Museum president. “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.”

Bob Dylan: Electric is curated exclusively for American Writers Museum by Alan Light, author, journalist, rock critic and music scholar of great renown and marks the first opportunity the publicwill have to see many 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 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. Also included are original pages from the film script of the 1967 Bob Dylan documentary Don’t Look Back and Dylan’s collection of prose and poetry Tarantula.

Bob Dylan: Electric includes 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, 2018, will discuss their writing processes and the impact songwriting has had on American writing.


● WHAT: Bob Dylan: Electric
● WHEN: November 16, 2018 – April 30, 2019
● WHERE: American Writers Museum – 180 N. Michigan Ave – 2nd Floor, Chicago, IL 60601
● DETAILS: Special Exhibit Free with Museum Admission.
● MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES: Pictures and video of all exhibit items, interviews with exhibit curator Alan Light and American Writers Museum president Carey Cranston.


About American Writers Museum
American Writers Museum is the first museum solely devoted to celebrating American writers and their works. Opened to the public in 2017, its mission is to engage the public in celebrating American writers and exploring their influence on our history, our identity, and our daily lives. Several permanent exhibits, interactive displays, and specially curated installations offer visitors of all ages a one-of-a-kind experience.

Past installations include Laura Ingalls Wilder: From Prairie to Page which highlighted how Ms. Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series shaped American understanding of the time period and The Beat Journey: Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” featuring the display of the original scroll manuscript.

Located in the historic former International Harvester Building at 180 N. Michigan Ave, American Writers Museum sits among the Chicago Theatre, Joffrey Ballet, Millennium Park, Chicago Cultural Center, the Chicago Theatre District, and several cultural and artistic icons.

American Writers Museum is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization and is open seven days a week. Admission is $12 for adults, $8 for seniors and students, and free for children ages 12 and under. Visit or call 312-374-8790 for more information.