David Bowie Is: A Retrospective About the Star in London

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The museum has been given unprecedented access to the David Bowie Archive to curate the first international retrospective of the extraordinary career of David Bowie – one of the most pioneering and influential performers of modern times. “David Bowie Is” will explore the creative processes of Bowie as a musical innovator and cultural icon, tracing his shifting style and sustained reinvention across five decades.

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The V&A’s Theatre and Performance curators, Victoria Broackes and Geoffrey Marsh have selected more than 300 objects that will be brought together for the very first time. They include handwritten lyrics, original costumes, fashion, photography, film, music videos, set designs, Bowie’s own instruments and album artwork.

The exhibition will explore the broad range of Bowie’s collaborations with artists and designers in the fields of fashion, sound, graphics, theatre, art and film. On display will be more than 300 objects including Ziggy Stardust bodysuits (1972) designed by Freddie Burretti, photography by Brian Duffy; album sleeve artwork by Guy Peellaert and Edward Bell; visual excerpts from films and live performances including The Man Who Fell to Earth, music videos such as Boys Keep Swinging and set designs created for the Diamond Dogs tour (1974).

Alongside these will be more personal items such as never-before-seen storyboards, handwritten set lists and lyrics as well as some of Bowie’s own sketches, musical scores and diary entries, revealing the evolution of his creative ideas.

Victoria and Albert Museum
from 23 march to august 2013

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