When news surfaced about the Museum of Selfies, some millennials were intrigued by the prospect of a museum built around a social media-induced trend. The interactive museum opened in downtown Glendale on April 1, allowing the greater Los Angeles area to explore the history and art of the selfie phenomenon for $25.
In theory, the museum could have been interesting if executed properly. Unfortunately, however, the gallery is cheaply furnished and contains shockingly few installations beyond simple portrait art that is so generic it may as well have come from a Google search.
After paying for the overpriced admission ticket, patrons are given a selfie stick and told a brief history of selfies and the definition of a museum before being sent on their way to peruse the one-floor exhibit at their leisure. The pastel-colored blocks of wood that hold images depicting the history of the selfie are placed in the middle of the exhibit and surrounded by fun facts about selfies — including a factoid proving the Kardashian family did not start the selfie trend.
In a side room, the exhibit displayed paintings by Vincent Van Gogh, including a replica of the room in which he created his famous self-portrait, other assorted portraits of individuals and statistics on selfies projected onto a television screen next to more pictures of selfies. In the same room is an explanation of the Greek myth of Narcissus, as well as a series of three Greco-Roman inspired statues posing as if they were snapping selfies.
Within the museum, there is an interactive section where visitors are encouraged to take selfies with popular selfie backgrounds. Backdrops included a makeshift bathroom (ironically situated adjacent to the actual bathrooms) with a model of the bathroom sink area. There is also a replica of a gym where patrons can take selfies of themselves “working out,” as well as a bedazzled car parked in the corner of the gallery for selfies.
Right past a blown-up picture of a skyline where visitors can take “selfies on a rooftop,” is a long selfie stick that runs from the back of the museum to the front. At the end of the tour is a gift shop, that offers Museum of Selfie merchandise at a price almost as absurdly high as the entry fee.
The Museum of Selfies is, frankly, a waste of 30 minutes and a great way to throw away money. Not only were the museum’s pieces poorly created and presented, but they also lacked creativity and originality. The entire experience was disappointing and frustrating, to say the least, and the museum is not worth a visit.
The Museum of Selfies will be open in Glendale until May 31.