Bowie was a 'true pioneer' says V&A

Bowie was a 'true pioneer' says V&A

David Bowie’s book publisher, the director of the Victoria & Albert museum, has called the singer a "true pioneer" and said his death is "a loss to us all".

The musician, whose death was announced this morning (11th January), died of cancer at the age of 69.

The V&A Museum published the title David Bowie Is, the first book produced with access to the David Bowie archive of performance costume, ephemera and original artwork by the artist, in March 2013. The publication coincided with the museum’s most popular ever exhibition on the same theme.

V&A director Martin Roth said: "For me, David Bowie’s greatest significance was not only as a musician or outstanding performer but that he brought together millions of people across different generations, beliefs and interests all around the world. He was a true pioneer and his death is a loss to us all."

David Bowie Is has sold 40,407 units to date for £1.1m. A book published by Sphere, Starman: The Definitive Bio (Paul Trynka) is the next highest-selling Bowie title, selling 13,000 copies for £140,000.

Bowie co-founded a small, independent art book publisher with Sir Timothy Sainsbury, gallery-owner Bernard Jacobson, and Karen Wright, editor of Modern Painters, in 1996.

At the time, Bowie told the Times: "Art is not elite any more. We want to keep the writing accessible - the same number of people who go to rock concerts go to museums and galleries."

Jacobson, director of 21 Publishing, told The Bookseller that Bowie’s passing was "very sad" but that the company would continue despite Bowie’s death.  

The most recent title the 21 Publishing released was Robert Motherwell: The Making of an American Giant by Jacobson, in January 2015.

The publisher, which has £184, 907 in assets in the year to 31st March 2015, up from £176,876, a year earlier, has only published 14 books since 1997.

Other titles include Art Crazy Nation: the post-Blimey! Art World by Matthew Collings (2001), Reporting The World by John Pilger (2001) and Bacon's Eye, about Francis Bacon, by Mark Sladen and Barry Joule (2001).

Figures in the book trade have paid tribute to Bowie following the news of his death.