A new exhibition celebrating the centenary of James Bond creator Ian Fleming’s birth has opened at the Imperial War Museum in London.
Organisers promise that the ‘For Your Eyes Only’ exhibition will feature material never displayed before and will look at the author and his fictional character in their historical context and examine how much of the Bond novels were imaginary and how far they were based on real people and events.
The exhibition will also explore the early life of Ian Fleming, his wartime career and work as a journalist and travel writer and how, as an author, he drew upon his own experiences to create the iconic character of James Bond that continues to have global appeal.
Amongst the rare items on display will be Fleming’s desk and chair from his Jamaican home Goldeneye, a map of the Mercury News Network established by Ian Fleming in the 1950s showing where all Sunday Times foreign correspondents were based, the jacket worn by Fleming on the Dieppe Raid of 1942; a selection of annotated Bond manuscript and a working model of an Aston Martin DB5 made for HRH Prince Andrew in 1966, complete with gadgets from the films Thunderball and Goldfinger.
Also on display will be film memorabilia from the EON produced run of movies including the ‘blood-splattered’ shirt worn by Daniel Craig in Casino Royale along with prototypes of Rosa Klebb’s flick knife shoes in From Russia with Love; Halle Berry’s bikini from Die Another Day and Goldfinger’s golf shoes.
For Your Eyes Only will show how Fleming’s wartime experiences informed the Bond plots and inspired many of the iconic heroes and villains, such as M and Goldfinger, and how the Cold War, a war of spies and technology, provided the stage in which Bond could operate. The exhibition will examine to what extent the books and films reflect the reality of the Cold War and life in post-war Britain and how far they were a product of Fleming’s prodigious imagination.
For Your Eyes Only – Ian Fleming and James Bond will be open between 17 April 2008 – 1 March 2009.
For ticket and opening information visit london.iwm.org.uk