A family member once told me that the main reason he didn’t understand my generation was because of our obsession with ourselves. Why, he wondered, did we have so many pictures of our own faces in favor of scenes from trips we had taken or spectacles we’d seen?
Though “#selfie” may be a relatively new way of identifying these images, the human fascination with the self dates back to the first crude paintings and carvings of people ever created. Artists throughout history have created famous self-portraits—Kahlo, Raphael, Picasso, etc.—and having the money to commission a portrait has long helped individuals to project a wealthy and powerful image of themselves to the world.
From Face to Facebook, now showing at the Philadelphia History Museum, chronicles self-portraits through the ages. More info can be found here.