The Long History of Selfie Culture

Ted Barrow at Strand Bookstore

Thu, Jun 27 at 7 p.m.   |   90 minutes

Does it seem like our current culture is the most self-obsessed to date? People have been saying that for 500 years. Join art historian Theodore Barrow in the Strand's rare book room for a deep dive into the selfie and the modern self through the lens of art history.


​Does it seem like our current culture is the most self-obsessed to date? It has seemed like that for five centuries. If anything, our current mania over self-obsession wielded by the hand-held black mirrors we carry in our pockets is only the latest in the habitual renegotiation of self-fashioning whose roots were planted in the 16th century. Are we living in the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning? Will this incessant narcissism be our undoing, or lead us to greater self-discovery?

Let's explore these conundrums and more in this Olio which reframes modern selfie-culture against the backdrop of Western Art History, beginning in the Italian Renaissance. What issues were at stake when an artist painted themselves in the 17th century, versus how we represent our selves today? Join art historian Theodore Barrow for a dynamic deep dive into the aesthetics of self-fashioning in western painting.

Teacher: Ted Barrow

Ted Barrow teaches in Barnard College's Pre-College Program over the summer, focusing on the relationship between art and film in New York City, and has taught art history courses at Baruch, City College, the College of Staten Island, and Brooklyn College. Barrow currently teaches at Cooper Union, and runs a popular satirical Instagram account about skateboarding (@feedback_ts).


Venue: Strand Bookstore
Add to Calendar June 27, 20197 p.m. June 27, 2019 America/New_York Think Olio | The Long History of Selfie Culture Does it seem like our current culture is the most self-obsessed to date? People have been saying that for 500 years. Join art historian Theodore Barrow in the Strand's rare book room for a deep dive into the selfie and the modern self through the lens of art history. None

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Olio: A miscellaneous collection of art and literature.