We know that Palm Beach is a who’s who of the rich and famous, where some of the world’s wealthiest people have homes or second homes or third homes. Visitors to the island are compelled to slow down as they drive South Ocean Boulevard and gawk at famous mansions once owned by John Lennon or the Kennedy family, often risking road safety to take a photo or video as they drive. Aren’t we all craving a celebrity sighting while out to dinner or strolling on Worth Avenue? Maybe James Patterson is out for an afternoon lunch at the diner.
Truth be told, it may not happen! Most Palm Beachers value their privacy. When they are in town, chances are they are hiding behind tall hedges and guard gates meant to keep the public at arms’ length.
But the need for the famous (and the infamous) to be seen as important and relevant, coupled with our need to see them, is nothing new. It's the definition of celebrity and the way we view them that is a constantly morphing concept as technologies change.
Through October 22, 2019, the Norton Museum of Art offers a glimpse into what it means to be a celebrity and how artists through time portray them. See and Be Seen: Picturing Notoriety is a collection of works from a broad range of artists including Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Andy Warhol, Annie Leibovitz and more. Encompassing the 1800’s through present, the exhibition features images ranging from Queen Victoria and Jackie Kennedy Onassis to Marilyn Monroe and Lil’ Kim.
Remember the Norton is closed on Wednesdays and free to everyone on Fridays and Saturdays, including Art After Dark on Friday nights.
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash