London’s Victoria & Albert Museum announced on Thursday that it has officially acquired David Bowie‘s massive archive, containing more than 80,000 items from the late musician’s life, as a gift from his estate.
The collection, which includes costumes, instruments, letters, photos, lyrics and more, will be viewable inside a new public arts center, titled the David Bowie Center for the Study of Performing Arts, in 2025. The center is slated to open as part of V&A East Storehouse, an add-on to the national museum of art, design and performance that is undergoing construction in east London’s Olympic Park.
The center will allow visitors to peek inside the mind of Bowie, who died at the age of 69 in 2016. Per the official David Bowie Instagram account, the archive “traces Bowie’s creative processes as a musical innovator, cultural icon, and advocate for self-expression and reinvention from his early career in the 1960s to his death in 2016.”
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“With David’s life’s work becoming part of the U.K’s national collections, he takes his rightful place amongst many other cultural icons and artistic geniuses,” Bowie’s estate said in a statement.
Highlights in the collection include Bowie’s Freddie Burretti-designed jumpsuit for Ziggy Stardust, the artist’s Aladdin Sane Tour costumes, handwritten lyrics for “Heroes,” notebooks that Bowie used throughout his life and more than 70,000 photographs. Alongside the archive’s acquisition, a £10 million GBP donation from the Blavatnik Family Foundation and Warner Music Group will support the construction of the center, where the collection will be housed.