8423 - V&A celebrates 1.5 million visitors to David Bowie Is - London


David Bowie is, installation view at the Groninger Museum. Photo Gerhard Taatgen.
The V&A announces that it has surpassed 1.5 million visitors to its landmark David Bowie Is exhibition, making it the most-visited show in the Museum’s 164-year history.  
The best-selling exhibition has been on a worldwide tour of ten venues since its inception at the V&A in 2013, and has already travelled to eight sites in countries including Canada, Australia and Brazil. It is currently in its final weeks at the Museo d'Arte Moderna di Bologna (MAMbo) in Italy, and will open at the TERRADA G1 building in Tokyo, Japan in January 2017 followed by the Museu del Disseny, Barcelona in May.

Victoria Broackes, co-curator of David Bowie Is, said: “One stand-out visit amongst the many people who saw the show was, of course, David Bowie himself. We were very honoured that he came to visit. In the course of a couple of hours he seemed to go from showing his family the objects to becoming genuinely affected by the experience. We had heard anecdotally before the visit that Bowie had been very moved by the visitors’ response to the exhibition; that people were queuing round the block to see it, and going round the show dancing, singing or sometimes in tears. I think it’s very different to then see why for yourself. It was a great moment.”

Co-curator Geoff Marsh added: ‘We are absolutely delighted that the exhibition has been seen by so many people worldwide. It's been an amazing journey to go from our first visits to the archive to transporting the exhibition to its ninth venue in Tokyo.’

The V&A was given unprecedented access to the David Bowie Archive to curate the first international retrospective of his extraordinary career. The exhibition shows how the late singer was one of the most pioneering and influential performers of modern times and traces his creative processes as a musical innovator and cultural icon, depicting his shifting style and sustained reinvention across five decades.

Around 312,000 visitors saw David Bowie Is at the V&A in London, where the Museum opened late opened late to cope with demand to view the sell-out show. The exhibition was also the subject of a feature film, David Bowie is happening now.