V&A acquires the Tommy Cooper Collection

Friday, August 26, 2016
V&A acquires the Tommy Cooper Collection

The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) is delighted to announce the acquisition of the Tommy Cooper Collection – the largest collection of its kind tracing the life and legacy of the much-loved British comedian Tommy Cooper (1921 - 1984). The acquisition strengthens the Museum’s collections documenting key figures in British comedy.

V&A acquires the Tommy Cooper Collection

The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) is delighted to announce the acquisition of the Tommy Cooper Collection – the largest collection of its kind tracing the life and legacy of the much-loved British comedian Tommy Cooper (1921 - 1984). The acquisition strengthens the Museum’s collections documenting key figures in British comedy from Ronnie Barker to Tony Hancock, Dame Edna Everage and Morecambe and Wise. It also joins the Museum’s holdings of the legendary Windmill Theatre, the scene of one of his earliest stage appearances.

The Tommy Cooper Collection comprises over 116 boxes of archive material and 24 props and posters to chart the career of the outwardly shambolic magician and comedian known for his trademark fez, flustered face, bungling stage persona and razor-sharp comedy. From his early career in the army to the height of his television stardom and status as national treasure, the collection also sheds light on Cooper’s scrupulously organised working methods, the business side of his vocation and the extent of his writing.  Cooper only used a small percentage of all the material he amassed as part of his ‘Gag File’, a system for storing his jokes, ordered alphabetically with the meticulousness of an archivist. The collection also includes Cooper’s writings, some jotted down on backs of posters and shirt packaging cardboard, as well as documents relating to the inner workings of his career, such as contracts from 1946 to his death in 1984 – including those he could not fulfil following his unexpected passing during a live performance.

A selection of these objects will go on public display for the very first time in the V&A’s Theatre and Performance Galleries in the autumn.  

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Image of the Day

Museo Jumex (a private art collection based in Mexico City, Mexico) / David Chipperfield. Image © Simon Menges

Museo Jumex (a private art collection based in Mexico City, Mexico) / David Chipperfield. Image © Simon Menges

Search

About ArtDependence

ArtDependence Magazine is an international magazine covering all spheres of contemporary art, as well as modern and classical art.

ArtDependence features the latest art news, highlighting interviews with today’s most influential artists, galleries, curators, collectors, fair directors and individuals at the axis of the arts.

The magazine also covers series of articles and reviews on critical art events, new publications and other foremost happenings in the art world.

If you would like to submit events or editorial content to ArtDependence Magazine, please feel free to reach the magazine via the contact page.