London, England’s Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) has announced it has acquired “for the nation” more than 80,000 items spanning six decades of David Bowie’s career.
They will be made available to the public through the creation of The David Bowie Centre for the Study of Performing Arts, which will open in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, east London, in 2025.
According to iNews, it will allow fans and researchers alike to get up close and gain new insights like never before into the creative process of an artist famed for adopting different personas, the V&A said.
Highlights include stage costumes such as Bowie’s breakthrough 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 archive 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 to Helmut Newton.
Fans will see Brian Eno’s EMS Synthesizer used on Bowie’s seminal Low (1977) and “Heroes” albums, and a Stylophone – a gift from Marc Bolan in the late ’60s used on Bowie’s breakthrough “Space Oddity” recording.
Handwritten lyrics, letters, sheet music, photography, film, music videos, set designs, album artwork and awards are stored in the archive. It also includes more intimate writings, thought processes and unrealized projects, the majority of which have never been seen in public before.