Seeing Ourselves: From Silhouette to Selfie

Imagine not knowing the look of your own face. For most people throughout history, this was the rule rather than the exception. Seeing Ourselves takes visitors on a journey through the development of portraiture, photography, mirrors and more to reveal how the modern-day selfie came to be.

Highlights Include:

  • Four sections exploring different topics in capturing images
  • More than 10 interactive stations that allow visitors to capture and modify their images
  • A selection of historically significant artifacts
  • Interactive activities that give visitors the ability to use and experience cutting-edge imaging techniques


SECTION ONE: Portraiture
Before photography and computer imaging, humans captured images of people, places, and things around them through art. Through a selection of portraits and other items from miSci’s collection, this section provides a window into the history of how we see ourselves through artistic media.

SECTION TWO: Photography
The invention of the Daguerreotype in the 19th century set off a trail of innovation and development surrounding the camera and photographs. Featuring contemporary photographs, cameras and digital devices, this section traces the growth of photography from an enthusiast’s pursuit in the chemistry lab to a commonplace event using technology that fits in our pockets.

SECTION THREE: Medical Imaging
The proper diagnosis and treatment of illness and injury benefits remarkably from the ability of present-day professionals to see inside the human body. This section explores the inventions and technologies used in medicine worldwide, including the X-ray and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

SECTION FOUR: You’re In the Scene
Throughout the history of imaging, clever people have used the technology and techniques available to them to see themselves and others in unique and creative ways. In this section, an array of engaging interactive activities give visitors the power to warp, change, and analyze their image in thought-provoking ways.



Capturing images has been a goal of human innovation since before the age of writing. Each development in technology and technique was a mixture of scientific cleverness and artistic potential that brought our images of ourselves closer to the present day. Visitors to Seeing Ourselves will learn that:

  • Recording images was not always inexpensive and trivial, the history of imaging technology is a constant search for accessibility
  • Different means of seeing ourselves record and reveal different details about us
  • Clever use of new and old technologies allows us to craft and record views we have never seen before

Exhibition Specs

Target Audience

  • Students
  • Adults
  • School Groups

Space Requirements

  • 4,500 – 5,000 Square Feet

Support Material

  • Promotional Materials
  • Installation Guide
  • Education Guide
  • Accessibility Documents

Click Here to inquire about booking this exhibition. We’re happy to answer your questions, and we look forward to speaking with you.