Portraits of Renown: Photography and the Cult of Celebrity

Runs through August 29
The Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles
Free, parking $15


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Photography’s remarkable propensity to shape visual identities has made it the leading vehicle for representing the famous. Soon after photography was invented in the 1830s, it was used to capture the likenesses and accomplishments of great men and women, gradually supplanting other forms of commemoration. In the twentieth century, the proliferation of photography and the transformative power of fame have helped to accelerate the desire for photographs of celebrities in magazines, newspapers, advertisements, and on the Internet. Drawn from the J. Paul Getty Museum’s collection, the exhibition surveys some of the visual strategies used by photographers to picture the famous from the 1840s to the year 2000.

shown: Andy Warhol, New York City, Marie Cosindas, American, 1966. © Marie Cosindas


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