Coming Soon: The David Bowie Archive At The V&A

By M@ Last edited 15 months ago

Last Updated 23 February 2023

Coming Soon: The David Bowie Archive At The V&A
Street art shows a lego david bowie beside huge text saying Lets Dance in lego font
A tribute to Bowie in the Leake Street tunnel... probably not in the archive

A permanent display of David Bowie oddities is coming to the V&A.

Want to see the hand-written lyrics to Ashes to Ashes, or the Stylophone played on Space Oddity? These are just two of the items in a vast collection spanning David Bowie's career, which will soon go on show at the V&A.

The museum has acquired "More than 80,000 letters, lyrics, photos, stage designs, music awards and costumes", which span Bowie's career. The treasures will be housed in the new David Bowie Centre for the Study of Performing Arts in the Olympic Park — a dedicated "Sourcebook for the Bowies of tomorrow", according to Dr Tristram Hunt, director of the V&A.

The collection, which also includes Ziggy Stardust costumes and the Union Jack coat from the cover of 1997's Earthling, was gifted by the David Bowie estate, with a £10m donation from the Blavatnik Family Foundation and Warner Music Group to help house the collection. The BBC has more details.

These are Golden Years for the V&A. The David Bowie Centre will be part of the museum's expansion into the Olympic Park, due to open in 2025. V&A East will celebrate "Global creativity and making relevant to today’s world". A nearby storehouse will also be open to the public, offering new ways to view parts of the collection. Meanwhile, Young V&A (the new name for the revamped Museum of Childhood) is due to reopen in summer 2023. Ch-ch-ch-changes, indeed.