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Museum Hosts Panel Discussion Exploring Fame and Celebrity

September 14, 1999

LOS ANGELES--The phenomenon of fame will be examined in "Celebrity Culture and the Art of the Immediate," a panel discussion to be held at the Getty Center’s Harold M. Williams Auditorium on Sunday, September 26, 1999, from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. This event is free; reservations are required and may be made by calling 310-440-7300.

A group of scholars and writers including Leo Braudy, Neal Gabler, Lois Banner, and David Roman will explore the rise of modern celebrity from the 18th century to the present and examine the concepts, expressions, and roles of fame.

Discussion will focus on how the development of new media in the past 200 years--from engravings and the printing press to photography and film--has given performers, artists, and public figures an increasing variety of vehicles to shape public persona. Panelists will also address how the evolution of popular culture has contributed to the expansion of celebrity.

This program is presented in conjunction with the exhibitions Nadar/Warhol: Paris/New York, which runs through October 10, 1999, and A Passion for Performance: Sarah Siddons and Her Portraitists, which closes on September 19, 1999.

Panelists Include:
Panel moderator, Leo Braudy, is the author of The Frenzy of Renown: Fame and Its History. He is a frequent commentator on popular culture, cultural history, and films for television shows including Crossfire, World of Ideas, and The News Hour with Jim Lehrer. He is University Professor and Leo S. Bing Professor of English at the University of Southern California, where he teaches English literature, film history and criticism, and American culture.

Neal Gabler is the author of Life the Movie: How Entertainment Conquered Reality. His Winchell: Gossip, Power and the Culture of Celebrity was named the non-fiction book of the year by Time magazine in 1994. His first book, An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood, won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for History and was voted one of the 100 most important books on the motion picture industry by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He also writes for publications including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Esquire, and Vogue, and has appeared on a variety of television programs.

Lois Banner is a professor of history and gender studies at the University of Southern California who recently received the school’s Rubenheimer Award, which honors outstanding faculty members from the College of Arts, Letters, and Sciences. She has written numerous books and articles on the history of women, beauty, and fashion, including American Beauty and, most recently, Finding Fran: History and Memory in the Lives of Two Women.

David Roman, associate professor of English and American Studies at the University of Southern California, is the author of Acts of Intervention: Performance, Gay Culture and AIDS, which received the 1999 Outstanding Research Book Award from the Association for Theatre in Higher Education. He currently serves as the scholar-in-residence at the Mark Taper Forum’s Latino Theatre Initiative and is the incoming editor of Theatre Journal, the premier academic publication for theater scholarship.

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About the Getty:

The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that features the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Getty Research Institute. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu.

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