independent

Thursday 24 April 2014

Bowie exhibition sets new record

An exhibition celebrating David Bowie's career has become the Victoria and Albert Museum's fastest-selling event.

More than 300 objects spanning his 50 years in showbusiness have been brought together for the first time, including hand-written lyrics, costumes, photographs, film, music videos, set designs and album artwork.

The museum in South Kensington, London, has been given unprecedented access to the David Bowie Archive for the exhibition, which opens this weekend and runs until August 11.

It showcases seminal items such as the Ziggy Stardust bodysuits from 1972 designed by Freddie Burretti, music videos such as Boys Keep Swinging and set designs created for the Diamond Dogs tour in 1974.

Never-before-seen personal items such as story boards, Bowie's own sketches, musical scores and diary entries, as well as hand-written set lists and lyrics with be on public show for the first time.

While Bowie himself was not directly involved in the exhibition, curators Victoria Broackes and Geoffrey Marsh trawled through the vast archive to produce the first retrospective of the star's career to date. Mr Marsh said: "At the end of the day, David Bowie is a performer, and it's his songs and videos which are real artworks.

"We hope that the exhibition works for Bowie fans who want to see everything about someone they have been fascinated with for decades, but also that it works for people who don't know a great deal about Bowie but are just interested in design."

The exhibition is already the V&A's fastest-selling on pre-sale tickets alone. A spokeswoman for the museum said: "We have sold over 47,000 tickets for the exhibition. It is the most pre-sale tickets that we have ever recorded for an exhibition."

The exhibition's other curator said she hopes Bowie himself will come to have a look round. Ms Broackes said: "We don't know of any plans he has to come to the exhibition, but we know he visits lots of museums, and is very interested in museums, so I can't help but feeling he's going to be interested in how we have told the story here, so I hope he will come."

Three years in the making, it has coincided with The Next Day, Bowie's first number one album since 1993's Black Tie White Noise, although this was not planned. The curators said the exhibition was being adapted until just days before the opening to accommodate Bowie's latest album.

Press Association

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