Published on reb00t, NYU Magazine Journalism’s own publication created in Alexis Gelber’s Editor’s Vision class.
You’ve seen the Instagrams of people looking into the Infinity Mirror. You’ve seen the pictures of people gleefully falling into a pool of sprinkles at the Museum of Ice Cream. Starting April 1st, you’ll likely see selfies of…people standing in front of selfies. After learning that more people take selfies in front of the Mona Lisa than pictures of the Mona Lisa itself, game designers Tommy Honton and Tair Mamedov joked about making a museum devoted to the phenomenon. But the more they thought about it, the more they realized the idea wasn’t—in a tongue-and-cheek, sort of way, of course—half bad.
So, for better or for worse, from April 1st to May 31st, the Museum of Selfies will open its doors to the the city of L.A. The goal, Honton and Mamedov told Mashable, is to make art accessible for everyone. Portraiture has a rich history, and selfies are arguably a part of it. Once people realize that, they said, they’ll realize that “art and history are more open than they seem.”
The museum will provide visitors with beloved selfie opportunities—Game of Thrones’ Iron Throne made out of selfie sticks, anyone?—but it will also encourage a little reflection. They’ve hired artists to recreate beloved portraits like the Mona Lisa with an iPhone in her hand and plan to show the tragic instances of people dying while taking selfies. They’ll also aim to educate, arguing that taking pictures of oneself is not a new concept. “Did you know the first self-portrait photograph was taken in 1839 by the American lamp manufacturer Robert Cornelius?” the Guardian teases about the exhibition. “He had to stand still for 15 minutes to capture the daguerreotype image.”
So hey, maybe Kim K. had the right idea all along. Taking selfies isn’t “Selfish,” it’s historic.
The Museum of Selfies opens in April 2018 in LA. Tickets cost $25 ( free for kids under three!)