Art & Artists / Exhibitions / Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist as Collector

Damien Hirst - Birds Display Netsuke from the collection of Edmund de Waal Howard Hodgkin - the Studio of Jamini Roy Hiroshi Sugimoto - Prosthetic Eyes Andy Warhol - Cookie jars

Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist as Collector

12 September - 24 January 2016

Exhibition Guide

Download the PDF

Large Print

Wall texts, captions and labels

Admission: £12/£10.50

Celebrating the many and varied motivations for collecting, Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist as Collector presents the fascinating personal collections of post-war and contemporary artists, including Andy Warhol, Arman, Peter Blake, Edmund de Waal, Damien Hirst,Howard Hodgkin, Sol LeWitt, Martin Parr, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Pae White.

The exhibition presents a selection of objects from the collections of the artists alongside a key example of their work to provide insight into their inspirations, influences, motives and obsessions.

Their collections range from mass-produced memorabilia to rare art and artefacts and from natural history specimens to curios and objects reflecting popular culture. These extraordinary collections help reveal the creative processes of some of the most important artists of the last 50 years.

Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist as Collector is curated and organised by Barbican Centre, London.

Your Magnificent Collections

As part of Magnificent Obsessions: the Artist as Collector, we are inviting you to send us photographs of your collections.

Each week, a selection of the best, most magnificent collections will be selected to go on display in the gallery, and one collection will feature on our website as ‘Collection of the Week’. We want to know what you collect and why? How did it all begin?

To submit your Magnificent Collection fill in the form below and send with up to two images to

Download Your magnificent Collections form to get involved

To explore all the contributions of this project so far, head to our flickr album.

Magnificent Obsessions family guide

Explore this exhibition as a family with our artist-illustrated activity sheet, featuring objects, animals, armour and insects.

Uncover new stories about the objects and make a record of your journey through the exhibition. Spark your curiosity with a word game and experiment with different kinds of drawing, while learning about how collecting can inspire new artwork.

Elephant figurines from the collection of Peter Blake. Photo by Hugo Glendinning.