Bob Dylan's rare 1960s abstract painting among Marvels of Modern Music Auction

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Bob Dylan's rare 1960s abstract painting among Marvels of Modern Music Auction
Bob Dylan's rare 1960s abstract painting up for auction by Boston firm.

BOSTON, MASS.- A rare abstract painting by Bob Dylan from circa 1968, unveiled recently, will be a centerpiece at the Marvels of Modern Music auction hosted by Boston-based RR Auction.

Dating back to Dylan's Woodstock years, this painting measures 24.5 x 30 inches and features a vibrant abstract composition filled with musical notes, animals, and a prominent central figure of a bull. It includes a red outline of a man in a brimmed hat, reflecting Dylan's self-image during that era, reminiscent of his appearance on the "Nashville Skyline" album cover.

"Bob Dylan's visual art, like his music, draws from a deep well of cultural and personal expression. This painting from his Woodstock years is particularly evocative, capturing the vibrant and transformative spirit of the 60s," explained Bobby Livingston, Executive Vice President at RR Auction.

Given as a gift from Dylan to Sandy LePanto in exchange for her astrological services, the painting has remained in her family until its recent rediscovery in her ex-husband's estate. Dylan's visual works from this period are scarce, with few pieces making their way to auction. The most renowned among them is the cover art for The Band's 1968 album "Music from Big Pink," and his self-portrait for the "Self Portrait" (1970) album, both employing a similar impasto technique. Additionally, an unsigned abstract female nude painted by Dylan in the 1960s was sold at auction for $100,000, showcasing the continuing interest in his artistry.

Among the more than 300 items in the music-themed auction is a live recording that captures the exceptional guitar work of a then-unknown Jimi Hendrix during a 1965 concert with rock and roll icon Little Richard. This tape documents a significant performance on May 12, 1965, featuring Hendrix as part of Little Richard's backing band, The Upsetters. The recording, engineered by Boston radio personality Little Walter DeVenne using a Scotch 190 reel-to-reel tape at 7.5 ips, has been preserved in DeVenne's personal archives until its recent discovery.

"Hearing Jimi Hendrix absolutely attack the opening chords of 'I Saw Her Standing There' makes your hair stand up," remarked Bobby Livingston, Executive Vice President at RR Auction. "Finding a live recording with both Little Richard and Jimi Hendrix is akin to discovering a musical holy grail."

Other top lots include impressive Beatles autographs; incredible signed photos of Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, and Jimi Hendrix; a fantastic Bob Marley signed poster; and an outstanding assortment of costumes and clothing worn by stars like Prince, Johnny Cash, and Joni Mitchell.

For more information on the auction or the full catalog, visit The auction opened on April 26 and will conclude on May 23.

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