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Bob Dylan Center – museum planned for Tulsa

Bob Dyland Center museum Olson Kundig

Seattle architects Olson Kundig have revealed plans for a museum dedicated to Bob Dylan in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The Bob Dylan Center is set to show around six thousand items spanning the American musician’s stellar career. They include personal notes, photographs and videos and, inevitably, musical instruments.

The George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF) secured the site on Martin Luther King Boulevard in 2013. It is just southeast of the Woody Guthrie Center, which GKFF helped fund. Guthrie had a huge influence on Dylan.

In 2016, GKFF, alongside the University of Tulsa, acquired Bob Dylan’s sizeable archive.

A deeply meaningful project

Olson Kundig will be lead architect for the project, having won selection following an international competition. They will work in collaboration with Tulsa-based Lilly Architects.  Plains of Yonder will design exhibits and also be responsible for audio and multimedia experiences.

“This is a deeply meaningful project for us,” said Tom Kundig of Olson Kundig. “Not only acting as architectural support to Bob’s transformational legacy and creative, disciplined force, but also in preserving the teaching value of his legacy for future generations.”

Plans show a central indoor pavilion with a welcome desk and café tables and chairs. A dimly-lit space will feature black storage volumes and dark walls. Another area has been designed for nigh-on perfect acoustics. It has a black ceiling and walls and a series of wood-lined nooks. One end will connect to a tree-shaded patio.

“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,” said Bob Dylan. “To me, it makes a lot of sense and it’s a great honour.”

Dylan was born in Duluth, Minnesota. He is one of America’s most famous musicians and his 1960s songs Blowin’ in the Wind and The Times They Are a-Changin, became anthems for the American Civil Rights Movement.

The Bob Dylan Center will work closely with two other facilities: The Bob Dylan Archive at the University of Tulsa’s Helmerich Center for American Research, and the university’s Institute for Bob Dylan Studies.

Groundbreaking for the site is expected to take place in 2019. The museum plans to open in 2021.

Other iconic artists who have inspired museum exhibits and attractions include of course The Beatles and more recently David Bowie and U2.  Bob Dylan is branching out further with the Heaven’s Door Whiskey collection.

Image: Olson Kundig

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