Celebrity seems even more prominently in the news at the moment, fuelled by the Oscars and a cornucopia of other awards ceremonies with their attendant red carpets and flashing cameras.
This has also added to the rich vein of research for centre director Dr Richard Howells, who continues to be in demand as a guest speaker on this glittering topic.
This week, he gave a paper on: “Celebrities, Saints and Sinners: The Photograph as Holy Relic” to the History of Art Departmental Research Seminar at the University of Oxford. MA CCI students will remember his illustrated talk on a similar topic next door at the Courtauld Institute of Art at the end of last year.
At Oxford he added some new examples and sources, and the post-paper discussion included some fascinating exchanges on the existence (or not) of celebrity “charisma” –was this something celebrities naturally had, or was this aura bestowed upon them by photography, the cultural industries and the phenomenon of fandom?
The debate continued over drinks and dinner….