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Beach Blog

The Original “Selfie”

The Oxford Dictionary Online recently named “selfie” as its 2013 Word of the Year. Defined as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website”, selfies have quickly become the go-to way for people of all walks of life to document their every move.

Museums are no stranger to selfies. I’m definitely guilty of taking my fair share at art, science, and history museums. Based on the new tumblr, Museum Selfies, I’m not alone! And museums are increasingly encouraging people to document and share pics from their visits.

Source: Museum Selfies tumblr, seanjesusprice http://ift.tt/1c6SzeD

It seems like for as long as we have been able to reproduce images, humans have left physical proof of how our time on earth was spent. And if you consider self portraits (including the works from the Beach Museum of Art collection pictured below), visual artists have always been ahead of the selfie trend.

Joseph Piccillo, Self Portrait, 1982
Edgar Degas, Self Portrait
Chuck Close, Title Unknown (self-portrait), 1992
Ellen Lanyon, Self Portrait, ca. 1948
Renée Stout, Self Portrait, 2011-2012


About Adrianne Russell

Adrianne is the Beach Museum of Art's Public Programs Coordinator. She is a technophile, avid reader, and unabashed art nerd.

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