Photo: Roger Woolman

David Bowie’s Archival Collection Goes On Display

On Thursday (2.22), officials from London’s V&A Museum confirmed their acquisition of David Bowie‘s “incredible” collection of handwritten lyrics, letters, sheet music, original costumes, fashion, photography, film, music videos, set designs, instruments, album artwork, and awards. 

Comprised of 80,000+ items – including Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust ensembles designed by Freddie Burretti – for the very first time the archive is set to go on display at The David Bowie Centre for the Study of Performing Arts at the V&A East Storehouse in 2025.

In a statement about the collection, 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.” 

The archive acquisition was made possible by executives at the David Bowie Estate and a $12 million donation from the Blavatnik Family Foundation and Warner Music Group.

Addressing her delight over her friend’s work being exhibited for younger generations to see, actress Tilda Swinton stated:

“In acquiring his archive for posterity, the V&A will now be able to offer access to David Bowie’s history – and the portal it represents – not only to practising artists from all fields, but to every last one of us, and for the foreseeable future.” “This is a truly great piece of news, which deserves the sincerest gratitude and congratulations to all those involved who have made it possible.”

Bowie passed away in 2016 at the age of 69.

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Author: Al Denté

Photo: Roger Woolman