300 Of Elton John's Photos Go On Display At V&A This Summer

300 Of Elton John's Photos Go On Display At V&A This Summer

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Elton John with fried eggs for eyes
Elton John: Egg On His Face, New York, David LaChapelle, 1999. © David LaChapelle

Over 300 photo prints from the private collection of Sir Elton John and David Furnish go on display at the V&A this summer.

Fragile Beauty: Photographs from the Sir Elton John and David Furnish Collection features the work of scores of 20th and 21st century photographers selected from a 7,000 strong collection — including works from Robert Mapplethorpe, Cindy Sherman, William Eggleston, Diane Arbus, Sally Mann, Zanele Muholi, Ai Weiwei and Carrie Mae Weems.

The 149 prints of Nan Goldin's epic Thanksgiving series will also be shown in their entirety; Goldin was recently named the art world's most influential figure.

A young man studying a fly on his nose
Simply Fragile, Tyler Mitchell, 2022. © Tyler Mitchell. Courtesy of the artist

Themes of the exhibition include fashion, reportage, celebrity, the male body and American photography — with specific images including a trio of photos of Elton John muse Marilyn Monroe, taken by Richard Avedon, Eve Arnold and Bert Stern; other celebrities and musicians including The Beatles, Elizabeth Taylor and Chet Baker; the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s; AIDS activism of the 1980s; and 9/11.

David LaChappelle's comical 'Egg On His Face' image of Elton John himself (see above) also features.

A man with a trumpet
Chet Baker, Herman Leonard, New York City, 1956. © Herman Leonard Photography, LLC

John and Furnish first loaned photos to the V&A in 2014, and say that Fragile Beauty "takes our collaboration to really exciting new heights". Tickets for the show are on sale now.

Fragile Beauty: Photographs from the Sir Elton John and David Furnish Collection, V&A, 18 May 2024-5 January 2025

Last Updated 25 March 2024