Museum of Selfies
With society’s obsession with taking the perfect selfie – some people even die for the best shot – and the rise of pop-up museums like Candytopia and the Magic Bus Experience, the Museum of Selfies has no pretenses about what it’s all about. What I was not prepared for, however, is the museum’s attempt to be entertainingly educational while providing a multitude of silly photo ops, perfect for Instagram.
The small entrance near the Hollywood and Highland tourist trap is adorned with signs urging passersby to remember to take selfies. The friendly staff at the front desk provides selfie-sticks at check-in if you forget to bring your own, and helpful workers walk around the museum offering assistance in capturing the perfect shots.
Plaques line the walls offering notable milestones in self-portraiture – including the first cave drawing in 64000 BCE, the first drawing of a human, the first sculpture of a human face – all the way to present selfie “moments” – like Paris Hilton’s first recorded selfie in 2006 to the famous “Oscar selfie” in 2014. There are also plaques that offer a new perspective on selfies in different cultures – like research indicating the average age, gender, and even angle of head tilt found in various areas around the world. The experience also offers brief bios of artists being imitated in, or who contributed to, the museum, such as Vincent Van Gogh, Colette Miller, Darel Carey and the original ego, Narcissus.
In addition to the historical information presented in the Museum of Selfies, they also poke fun at the ridiculous types of selfies that have become very popular recently. The museum has a room dedicated to bathroom/mirror selfies, an area for bedroom selfies, and one for the red carpet. One area was modeled after the death-defying stunts people will do to get an enviable selfie. It presented a safe alternative to getting a photo from high above a city landscape. Another section showed footage of a woman taking a museum selfie which resulted in the destruction of millions of dollars worth of priceless artifacts. In perfect tongue-in-cheek fashion, the Museum of Selfies sets up a way to put yourself in the position of ruining artwork via a fun panoramic photo.
While there are a lot of opportunities for selfies, for the majority of exhibits, you need an extra person to take the photo to achieve the appropriate effect (like levitating off a bed), which is why the roaming staff members are so helpful. Despite not being entirely selfie-friendly, however, the Museum of Selfies allows artists to put a fun spin on a specific theme – such as a duck-lipped Mona Lisa, or Game of Thrones‘ Iron Throne made out of selfie-sticks – while still catering to our Instagram-happy culture and sense of ego. So, if you have an hour or so to spare, take a trip to Selfie-Land and take a photo in the emoji-ball pool, in front of angel wings, or on the red carpet at the Selfie Awards. Don’t forget your filters and hashtags!
Plan your visit to the interactive Museum of Selfies any day of the week. Ticket prices vary per age. Buy tickets and find more info here.