• Steven Brower

The Great Dylan Profile

Recently Steven Heller wrote of Glaser’s Ghosts, on how Milton’s Marcel Duchamp-inspired 1966 Bob Dylan poster has spawned myriad parodies, homages and rip offs. He earlier covered the history of the iconic image here. I also traced the origins of Glaser’s poster in a previous article. There is yet another legacy to the 50 year old poster that was included as added value in Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits, and that is how the recent Nobel Prize winner’s profile is perhaps the most utilized and most recognizable in modern history:


Ironically Dylan did not like Glaser’s portrait, first as the cover of a book and later as the aforementioned poster. Whether his opinion has changed over time remains to be seen but there is no question that his profile has sported several of his albums since. It has also appeared on a multitude of posters and book covers over the years, including many authorized tour posters. In addition it has  been interpreted over time by other renowned illustrators, including Paul Davis, Stephen Alcorn and the late Rick Griffin.




Paul Davis, 1974

Rick Griffin drawing commissioned by Dylan for his “Down in the Groove” album, 1988. Griffin painted the final but Dylan rejected the art.

The released cover still featured a near profile.

Book cover 1978

Book cover 1992

Book Cover 2008

Book cover 2011

Book cover 2011

Book cover 2015

Tour poster 1978

Bob Dylan meets Art Nouveau

Bob Dylan meets Beethoven

Poster by Tad Carpenter

Poster by Peter Strain

Art by Silvio Ledbetter

Tour poster by Ken Taylor, 2010

Malika Favre for The New Yorker, 2016

Poster by Stephen Alcorn, 2016

Congratulations to Dylan on his Nobel Prize and to Glaser on his lasting influence. Both are recipients of awards by President Obama: The Presidential Medal of Freedom and The National Medal of Arts, respectively.

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