John Cohen (Photo by H. Christopherson)

Young Bob
Early Photographs
of Bob Dylan
By John Cohen

Closing party: Saturday, November 4, 2006.

Party info!


Icebox Gallery presents, for the first time in Minnesota, early images of Bob Dylan by John Cohen. View a unique exhibition of rare and unpublished photographs along with images from the book “Young Bob” by John Cohen. The show includes images of many of the key figures of the “Beat Generation”.

In the early 1960’s, a young Bob Dylan left his home in Minnesota and headed east to Greenwich Village, New York. There he immersed himself with the kind of talent and musical vision that he had been unable to find back home. John Cohen and his folk band “The New Lost City Ramblers” where already an active part of the music scene and soon John and Bob became friends. Bob Dylan came to his own personal crossroads during this time in Greenwich Village. These early experiences ignited his passion for performing and song writing. It was the spring of 1962 when Bob Dylan posed with his guitar and harmonica on John Cohen’s rooftop. These now famous images speak to a younger, more innocent time, at the beginning of Bob Dylan’s career that eventually grew and transformed into the legend of Dylan, the world-famous singer - songwriter.

“The making of these photographs was straight forward. We weren’t trying to create a persona. I was more interested in documenting what was before my camera, and what I was seeing wasn’t so clear. The session was a free-flowing pursuit of picture making. We didn’t know what he was going to look like. These pictures were made at my place on Third Avenue in the spring of 1962. They were done without planning, but with the freedom that comes with uncertainty.” John Cohen

The never-before-published, black-and-white photographs in Young Bob (PowerHouse Books; November 2003) are a unique and spectacularly intimate document made on the cusp of Bob Dylan’s fame—just before the release of Dylan’s revolutionary self-titled first album and well before the international legend that Dylan became was born.

The Icebox exhibition will include rare color images of Dylan from an outdoor shoot around 1971 published in Bob Dylan’s “Self Portrait” album, also wonderful b/w images of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Frank, Woody Guthrie and more.

John Cohen has been making photographs since 1954. His photographic outlook was formed before there were photography galleries. At that time the only work for a photographer was in photojournalism or in advertising, and neither was what he wanted to do. Instead he made his own personal photographs, as well as documenting things that were important to him: mostly the artists and musicians.

John Cohen was born in Queens, New York, in 1932. As an extremely talented musician, he has received several Grammy nominations with his band, The New Lost City Ramblers, has recorded and compiled many albums of traditional music for Smithsonian Folkways, and has helped to shape the Old Time Fiddle and String Band movement.

No Direction Home: Martin Scorsese's documentary about the folk-rock legend aired last September on PBS. The program was released on DVD that same month. The film is the first feature-length biography ever produced on Dylan, who serves as its narrator. In addition to archival footage and photography, it features exclusive interviews with Joan Baez, photographer John Cohen of the New Lost City Ramblers, Allen Ginsberg, Tony Glover, Al Kooper, Bruce Langhorne, Paul Nelson, Suze Rotolo, Pete Seeger and Dave Van Ronk, among others.

Cohen also studied photography and painting under Josef Albers and Herbert Matter at Yale University, then went on to become Professor of Visual Arts at SUNY Purchase from 1972 to 1997. A legend in his own right, his photographs are in collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the National Museum of Art and the National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C., as well as the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. His images have been published in Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone and Aperture. He also has several PowerHouse published books including, There is No Eye, Hidden Threads of Peru, and Young Bob. Cohen’s award-winning documentary films have been screened around the world.


Tail of the Talking Car

YOUNG BOB Event Photos

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Phone: 612.788.1790 | Fax: 612.788.6947 | Email:

*** YOUNG BOB ***


May 11th at Mayslacks Bar
in NE Minneapolis 7 – 10 PM.

Featuring John Cohen, Spider-John Koerner and Tony Glover, Paul Metsa, +

* Music Information *

May 13th, 2006
8 PM – Midnight

CLOSING November 4, 2006

Extended Hours on
Art-A-Whirl Weekend
May 19-20-21

May 24th Bob Dylan’s 65th
Birthday 8 - 10 PM at Icebox!

Keep Bob Forever Young! Celebrate Bob's 65th with us in the Icebox Gallery!
(Bob Dylan Date of Birth: May 24, 1941 Duluth MN.)

Bob Dylan First Thursdays!
B.D. Music Played Loud in the Gallery each First Thursday during the show.
5 – 9 PM Each First Thursday in the Arts district.
• June 1st
• July 6th
• August 3rd

Young Bob Closing Party
Icebox Gallery
Saturday, November 4
8 – 10 PM

Check Icebox website for additional events during the run of the exhibit.

Official Bob Dylan Website

Limited Edition Prints
Tail of the Talking Car
The Scene

The New Lost Times

John Cohen on KFAI Radio
John Cohen on Minnesota Public Radio