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Photograph of David Bowie Performing as The Thin White Duke on the Station to Station tour, 1976.
Photograph by John Robert Rowlands. © John Robert Rowlands and The David Bowie Archive
CR News Reports David Bowie's Exhibit Live From London
David Bowie’s 80,000-Piece Archive Acquired by a British Museum
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. Our new collections centre, V&A East Storehouse, is the ideal place to put Bowie’s work in dialogue with the V&A’s collection spanning 5,000 years of art, design, and performance. My deepest thanks go to the David Bowie Estate, Blavatnik Family Foundation and Warner Music Group for helping make this a reality and for providing a new sourcebook for the Bowies of tomorrow.” Spanning Bowie’s career, the archive features handwritten lyrics, letters, sheet music, original costumes, fashion, photography, film, music videos, set designs, Bowie’s own instruments, album artwork and awards. It also includes more intimate writings, thought processes and unrealised projects, the majority of which have never been seen in public before.
Striped bodysuit for Aladdin Sane tour, 1973. Design by Kansai Yamamoto. Photograph by Masayoshi Sukita. © Sukita and The David Bowie Archive
Quilted two–piece suit, 1972. Designed by Freddie Burretti for the Ziggy Stardust tour. © The David Bowie Archive
Self–portrait in pose also adopted for the album cover of “Heroes”, 1978 by David Bowie. © The David Bowie Archive
Cut up lyrics for ‘Blackout’ from “Heroes”, 1977 by David Bowie. © The David Bowie Archive
The V&A will acquire The David Bowie Archive and create The David Bowie Centre for the Study of Performing Arts at V&A East Storehouse, opening in Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in 2025.
The acquisition and creation of The Centre has been made possible thanks to the David Bowie Estate and a generous donation of £10m from the Blavatnik Family Foundation and Warner Music Group.
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