V&A acquires David Bowie Archive

Gerard Ortiz

About 80,000 merchandise from Bowie’s six 10 years career will be available to the community

The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London announces it will protected the archive of David Bowie for the nation – revealing the inventive processes of just one of the most revolutionary and influential figures in the background of are living and recorded tunes, movie, trend, and outside of. From 2025, the archive will be built out there to the general public, from fans to university youngsters and scientists, as a result of the development of The David Bowie Centre for the Review of Carrying out Arts at V&A East Storehouse, in Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The acquisition and development of The Centre has been produced doable many thanks to the David Bowie Estate and a generous donation of £10m from the Blavatnik Household Basis and Warner Songs Group.

“With David’s life’s perform starting to be component of the UK’s national collections, he will take his rightful position amongst several other cultural icons and creative geniuses,” the David Bowie Estate shares. “The David Bowie Centre for the Analyze of Accomplishing Arts – and the guiding the scenes accessibility that V&A East Storehouse offers – will mean David’s function can be shared with the community in strategies that haven’t been possible ahead of, and we’re so delighted to be operating carefully with the V&A to proceed to commemorate David’s enduring cultural impact.”

Encompassing much more than 80,000 things, the archive traces Bowie’s artistic processes as a musical innovator, cultural icon, and advocate for self-expression and reinvention from his early vocation in the 1960s to his demise in 2016. Alongside the creation of the new Centre, the reward will assistance the ongoing conservation, investigation, and analyze of the archive.

Spanning Bowie’s career, the archive functions handwritten lyrics, letters, sheet songs, authentic costumes, vogue, photography, film, tunes videos, set patterns, Bowie’s have instruments, album artwork, and awards. It also consists of far more intimate writings, believed procedures, and unrealized initiatives, the vast majority of which have never been witnessed in community prior to.

Highlights include stage costumes this sort of as Bowie’s breakthrough Ziggy Stardust ensembles created by Freddie Burretti (1972), Kansai Yamamoto’s flamboyant creations for the Aladdin Sane Tour (1973), and the Union Jack coat designed by Bowie and Alexander McQueen for the Earthling album cover (1997). The archive also includes handwritten lyrics for songs which include “Fame” (1975), “Heroes” (1977), and “Ashes to Ashes” (1980), as effectively as illustrations of the “cut up” strategy of composing released to Bowie by the writer William Burroughs. Furthermore, the archive retains a collection of intimate notebooks from each era of Bowie’s lifestyle and job.

The archive also contains a photo collage of movie stills from The Man Who Fell to Earth (1975-76), directed by Nicolas Roeg and that includes Bowie, and more than 70,000 photos, prints, negatives, substantial structure transparencies, slides, and call sheets taken by some of the 20th century’s main photographers from Terry O’Neill to Brian Duffy and Helmut Newton. Among other highlights are devices, amps, and other products, together with Brian Eno’s EMS Synthesizer from Bowie’s seminal Small (1977) and Heroes albums and a Stylophone – a present from Marc Bolan in the late 1960’s, used on Bowie’s seminal “Space Oddity” recording.

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