Bob Dylan about great oil paintings in museums

This is a passage taken from an interview with Bob Dylan. This interview took place in the late summer of 1965.

I thought it would be cool to share this quote by Dylan because it exposes a lot of the principles that I share with him about visible art and how it should be available to the public eye.

Dylan’s remarks reflect why he thinks music is more in tune with “what’s happening” than other art forms of the times. I think it is still true today:

“Great paintings shouldn’t be in museums. Have you ever been in a museum? Museums are cemeteries. Paintings should be on the walls of restaurants, in dime stores, in gas stations, in men’s rooms. Great paintings should be where people hang out. The only thing where it’s happening is on radio and records, that’s where people hang out. You can’t see great paintings. You pay half a million and hang one in your house and one guest sees it. That’s not art. That’s a shame, a crime. Music is the only thing that’s in tune with what’s happening. It’s not in book form; it’s not on the stage. All this art they’ve been talking about is nonexistent. It just remains on the shelf. It doesn’t make anyone happier. Just think how many people would really feel great if they could see a Picasso in their daily diner. It’s not the bomb that has to go, man, it’s the museums.”

Great oil paintings like Picasso, Klimt, and Kandinsky need to be a part of our daily lives. It is important that we nurture art and share great art with the world.

About the Author

Amitai Sasson of is an art world traveler on a mission to seek out the beauty and passion of the art world. As an avid enthusiast of art and oil paintings, he contributes to as Chief editor and writer.