David Bowie: V&A to make 80,000-item archive of musician’s life and work public in 2025

An extensive archive of David Bowie’s life, work and legacy has been acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum.

More than 80,000 items, including handwritten lyrics, letters, sheet music, original costumes, fashion, photography, film, music videos, set designs, album artwork and awards, will go on display in 2025.

The exhibition, spanning six decades of the “Starman” singer and cultural icon’s career, will be made available to the public at the newly created David Bowie Centre for the Study of Performing Arts, which will open in Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

It will allow fans and researchers alike to get up close and gain new insights into Bowie’s creative process like never before, the V&A said.

Highlights include stage costumes such as Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust ensembles, designed by Freddie Burretti in 1972, Kansai Yamamoto’s creations for the Aladdin Sane tour in 1973, and the Union Jack coat designed by Bowie and Alexander McQueen for the 1997 Earthling album cover.

The exhibition will include instruments owned by the musician, who died in 2016, as well as writings and unrealised projects never before seen in public.

The archive also includes over 70,000 photographs, prints, negatives, slides and contact sheets taken by some of the 20th century’s leading photographers, from Terry O’Neill to Brian Duffy and Helmut Newton.

Dr Tristram Hunt, director of the V&A, said: “David Bowie was one of the greatest musicians and performers of all time. The V&A is thrilled to become custodians of his incredible archive, and to be able to open it up for the public.

“Bowie’s radical innovations across music, theatre, film, fashion, and style – from Berlin to Tokyo to London – continue to influence design and visual culture and inspire creatives from Janelle Monáe to Lady Gaga to Tilda Swinton and Raf Simons.”

A spokesperson from the David Bowie Estate, added: “With David’s life’s work becoming part of the UK’s national collections, he takes his rightful place amongst many other cultural icons and artistic geniuses

“The David Bowie Centre for the Study of Performance – and the behind the scenes access that V&A East Storehouse offers – will mean David’s work can be shared with the public in ways that haven’t been possible before.”

The archive’s acquisition by the V&A, and the creation of the centre, was made possible thanks to the David Bowie Estate and a £10m donation from the Blavatnik Family Foundation and Warner Music Group.

Related Articles

Bir cavab yazın

Sizin e-poçt ünvanınız dərc edilməyəcəkdir. Gərəkli sahələr * ilə işarələnmişdir

Back to top button