‘FROM STUDIO TO SELFIE’ – Exhibition exploring the history of portraits and selfies – 1 February-15 March

Social media has become an important promotional tool for writers, but portraits and selfies would not be as effective as they are in generating interest and cultivating followers if they were not accompanied by text, blogs, stories, buzzwords, fashion statements, and a privileged insight into the life and work of the author.

From the nineteenth century explosion in popular visual media, to the recent digital and social media revolutions, authors have always used images to create and curate their public identities and to promote their literary works. Many of these now rare photographic prints are hidden away inside books. From Studio to Selfie puts on display some of the wealth of the Bodleian’s collection of portraits inside nineteenth century books. The juxtaposition of old and new images reveals how the storytelling and branding at use in early photographic author portraits is still at play in today’s selfie culture.

The Bodleian Library is a treasure trove of books, which include photographs, and portraits of famous writers. This display shows how, since its invention in the mid-1800s to today’s digital image culture, photography has been instrumental in constructing and promoting the author’s public image and persona.
 
 
1 February – 15 March.
Curated by Paul Edwards (LARCA) and Kathrin Yacavone (Köln).
Proscholium, Old Library, Bodleian Library, Oxford.