Unprecedented access to the David Bowie Archive has been granted for the international retrospective on Bowie's career, which runs at the V&A from March 23 to July 28, 2013.
Theatre and performance curators Victoria Broackes and Geoffrey Marsh have selected over 300 objects for the exhibition, including handwritten lyrics, original costumes, fashion, photography, film, music videos, set designs, Bowie's own instruments and album artwork.
Director of the V&A Martin Roth said: "David Bowie is a true icon, more relevant to popular culture now than ever.
"His radical innovations across music, theatre, fashion and style still resound today in design and visual culture and he continues to inspire artists and designers throughout the world
"We are thrilled to be presenting the first ever exhibition drawn from the David Bowie Archive."
'David Bowie Is' starts with Bowie's early years, moving through his mod and mime phases and time with the Konrads and the King Bees in the 1960s.
It continues to explore his creative processes, his albums and tours - including the Ziggy Stardust era - before ending with an examination of his stage and screen performances.
Frida Giannini, creative director at sponsor Gucci, said: "David Bowie is… one of my greatest inspirations. His individuality, originality and authenticity have been defining.
"Through his creative genius his influence on music, fashion, art and popular culture over decades has been immeasurable and will continue to be for decades to come."
David Bowie - career in pictures:
Copyright: Rex FeaturesBowie recently denied being a curator of the exhibition.
Tickets are available for £14, with concessions available, and the museum is open daily from 10am to 5.45pm and until 10pm every Friday.
The accompanying David Bowie Is edited by Broackes and Marsh features essays by Jon Savage, Camille Paglia, Howard Goodall and Christopher Frayling, and will be available for £25 in paperback and £50 in deluxe hardback.