Orbiting David Bowie Exhibition to Touch Down at the Brooklyn Museum

David Bowie photographed in 1973.


For New Yorkers, a memorable role as a mysterious spirit in Twin Peaks: The Return won’t be David Bowie’s only notable posthumous appearance in recent memory. “David Bowie Is,” a traveling exhibition devoted to the British pop star, will take up residence at the Brooklyn Museum next year from March 2 through July 15. The show first opened in 2013 in London at the Victoria & Albert Museum and has continued touring—and breaking attendance records—around the world.

In its previous incarnations, “David Bowie Is” has included as many 300 objects, among them album covers, costumes, videos, handwritten song lyrics, and ephemera. The blockbuster exhibition has covered Bowie’s prolific career, from his early experiments with music as a child through his most recent albums—and even, in some versions, his death in 2016.

BBC News reported in November 2016 that more than 1.5 million people had seen the exhibition. It has so far shown in 11 countries, including France, Germany, Brazil, Canada, Australia, and Japan. Following a showing in 2014 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Brooklyn Museum will be the second American venue for the exhibition.

The coming show is not the Brooklyn Museum’s first major venture with David Bowie. In 1999, Bowie became the subject of controversy as one of several donors who had funded the museum’s notorious exhibition “Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection.” According to a New York Times report at the time, Bowie had given $75,000 to the show, which featured artists whose work Bowie himself owned—thus making him a potential beneficiary of the museum’s activities. (Bowie was named one of ARTnews’s “Top 200 Collectors” on several occasions.)

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