Last week, as part of an early Christmas present, my mom and I took advantage of the 50-degree Chicago weather and headed into the city to the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago to see David Bowie Is.
The exhibition is the first Bowie career retrospective of its kind and Chicago is the only U.S. city where you can catch a glimpse. The exhibit is amazingly large and, even more amazingly, the vast majority of which comes from Bowie’s personal archives (I’m convinced he’s got a climate-controlled vault of some sort under his house).
Organized chronologically, the exhibit features early writings and artifacts from Bowie’s life as well as about 60 of his different costumes—I especially loved the Union Jack trench coat Alexander McQueen designed for him in 1997. A headset and digital boundaries narrate the exhibit, oftentimes in Bowie’s own voice or through his music, as visitors wander through and learn about various periods of his life.
But my favorite part of the exhibit was a room called “David Bowie is…putting on a show” filled with 360-degree floor-to-ceiling projections of Bowie performing at various point throughout his career. It was breathtaking to be engulfed on all sides by Bowie’s performances, surrounded by dozens of other museum goers silently bobbing their heads to the music streaming through our headsets.
I definitely recommend buying your timed admission tickets ahead of time, especially because there’s a limited amount of time left to see David Bowie Is.
David Bowie Is… exhibiting through Jan. 4 at the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Before our exhibit time we also stopped in to see photographer Anne Collier‘s first major exhibition, which you can find at the Museum of Contemporary Art through March 8. Highly recommended as well if you have the time!
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, 220 East Chicago Avenue in Chicago