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Art Library Exhibitions Spaces and Special Events: Kerri Sullivan

About Kerri Sullivan

The exhibit was put together by Art Library summer intern Kerri Sullivan, a student of the Masters of Library and Information Science program. She has a deep interest in and background in photography.

The History of the Selfie

About The History of the Selfie

Ever since "selfie" was announced as the Oxford English Dictionary's Word of the Year, it suddenly seems that photos people take of themselves are newsworthy. The selfie has become a part of daily life, and we have the pop songs, t-shirts, and hundreds of millions of photos on Instagram tagged #selfie to prove it.

This exhibit explores the history of self-portrait photography, using examples from noteworthy photographers throughout history. That's right—as early as the 1830s, people were taking selfies. While their motivation for the photographs might have been different from why we take them today, the images are nonetheless compelling. If you've ever taken a photo of yourself with an outstretched arm or in a mirror, you might not have realized it, but you were doing what photographers have been doing for centuries.


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