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Room 33 at the National Portrait Gallery

Simon Schama's Face of Britain: The Face of Fame

Fame and celebrity have long been easy to confuse. Celebrity is temporary and fugitive, while fame is something more profound and enduring. If celebrities are famous for being themselves, the truly famous are renowned for their 'extraordinary action' and become the characters in our national story. That heroes could inspire individuals to greatness was the impulse behind the foundation of the National Portrait Gallery in 1856. Its collection records how artists, photographers and printmakers have always served as 'fame-makers' by enhancing and distributing the image of celebrities and the famous.

More about the exhibition

67 portraits on display in Room 33 at the National Portrait Gallery