Entertainment & Arts

Barbican puts artists' personal collections on show

Cookie jars previously owned by Andy Warhol Image copyright Movado Group
Image caption Andy Warhol's collection of cookie jars are among the exhibits

The Barbican is to host the first major exhibition in the UK of the personal collections of post-war and contemporary artists.

Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist as Collector will feature personal effects from artists including Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol and Sir Peter Blake.

The items range from Hirst's skulls, taxidermy and medical models to Andy Warhol's cookie jars.

It will run at the Barbican Art Gallery from 12 February to 25 May 2015.

The exhibition looks at how artists throughout history have acquired collections for personal and artistic reasons.

Andy Warhol, for example, stopped by antique and junk shops daily to look for items.

Many of the objects he collected served as source material for his famous silkscreen prints.

The exhibition will use the artists' own display techniques, placing their effects alongside key examples of their work.

The gallery said the show aimed to give an insight into how these items inspired, influenced and sometimes obsessed them.

Sir Peter Blake's collection of masks and elephant figurines will also be on display.

Image copyright Hugo Glendinning
Image caption A collection of masks in the studio of Sir Peter Blake
Image copyright Hugo Glendinning
Image caption A collection of elephant figurines in the studio of Sir Peter Blake

German conceptual artist Hanne Darboven collected a diverse range of objects that filled her family home. The resulting rooms of curiosities were inextricably linked to her work.

Image copyright Rainer Bolliger
Image caption The 'Picasso' or 'tower' room in the Hamburg studio of Hanne Darboven

The collections vary from a handful of objects to more than 3,000 pieces and range from mass-produced popular culture items to rare artefacts.

The French-born artist Arman developed an interest in African art as a student. His habit of assembling collections of like objects became a hallmark of his accumulation sculptures in the 1960s.

His collections include important examples of African art and Japanese samurai armour.

Image copyright Arman Studio Archives
Image caption Wall of Kota reliquary figures in the home of Arman
Image copyright Arman Studio Archives
Image caption Arman's 1960 work Home Sweet Home II consists of gas masks in a wooden box

Other collections include more than 1,000 scarves by the American designer Vera Neumann from Pae White; Martin Parr's British postcards; and Soviet space dog memorabilia and album covers owned by Mexican artist and tattooist Dr Lakra.

Image copyright Rainer Bollinger
Image caption Album covers from the collection of Dr Lakra

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