This is the Machine.
For the performing arts


David Bowie Is: Earthling album Events David Bowie Is 23 Mar - 28 Jul V&A, London

Not yet, but David Bowie Is at the V&A in March, for the first international retrospective of his extraordinary career. The exhibition 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.

More than 300 objects are selected by the V&A’s theatre and performance curators, Victoria Broackes and Geoffrey Marshand, that will be brought together for the very first time. Expect to see 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.


Striped bodysuit for Aladdin Sane tour, 1973, designed by Kansai Yamamoto, Photo: Masayoshi Sukita © Sukita The David Bowie Archive 2012


 Promotional shoot for The Kon-rads, 1963, Photo: Roy Ainsworth, Courtesy of The David Bowie Archive 2012, Image © V&A Images


Photo collage of manipulated film stills from The Man Who Fell to Earth, © STUDIO CANAL Films Ltd, Image © V&A Images


David Bowie and William Burroughs, 1974, Photo: Terry O’Neill, Courtesy of The David Bowie Archive 2012


Find more about the exhibition at V&A’s website


Source and images from the V&A website at
Featured photo: Original photography for the Earthling album cover, 1997, Union Jack coat designed by Alexander McQueen in collaboration with David Bowie, Photo: Frank W Ockenfels 3 © Frank W Ockenfels 3