“Selfie” exhibition opens at Fairfield Museum

Believe it or not, people have been creating “selfies” for generations! A new exhibition at the Fairfield Museum, “Look at Me! Recording and Sharing Our Selves,” will showcase and explore self-portraits throughout history. The exhibit opens on February 18th and features paintings, silhouettes, early photographs and miniatures of individuals from the Fairfield region.

“Portrait of Woman in Ruffled Cap,” c. 1810, attributed to Milton W. Hopkins

“Portrait of Woman in Ruffled Cap,” c. 1810, attributed to Milton W. Hopkins

Today’s “selfie” phenomenon offers the opportunity to reflect on the history of how people have shared images of themselves. What was the function and use of a painted portrait, a photograph or daguerreotype, and how does it differ from a “selfie” taken on a cell phone? By examining a wide range of self-portraits, this exhibition considers how we have pictured ourselves over time.

The exhibition will open with a unique and exciting social event, “Museum After Dark: Expressions of Identity and the Selfie,” on Thursday, Feb. 25, from 6-8 p.m. The evening will begin with a wine & cheese reception. Then guests will enjoy a mini portrait-sketching workshop with Suzanne Chamlin-Richer, Associate Professor of Visual & Performing Arts of Fairfield University. In addition, guests to can learn about the history of art and photography, from 18th century portraiture to the saturation of selfie images on social media today. Attendees are encouraged to share their thoughts about the push and pull between popular culture, social change and how people have represented themselves over time. Free for members; $5 for non-members.

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In addition, during February and March, Fairfield Museum is encouraging locals to submit “selfies” from around town on its Facebook page and through Twitter using the hashtag #LookAtMe. All entries will be put into a drawing for prizes that include items from the Museum Shop and free admission passes! For more information, visit the Fairfield Museum’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FairfieldMuseum.

Also, on Monday, Feb. 15, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Museum will host a free Family Focus day, “Paint a Portrait.” Children will be offered an opportunity to create a painting based on a selfie or school picture. Bring a photo or a smartphone to use as your subject. Guests will also explore portrait paintings from presidents to historic Fairfielders. For more information, visit Fairfieldhistory.org.

“Center of the Universe” by Meredith Moore

“Center of the Universe” by Meredith Moore

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