Art Art History

Kim Kardashian Didn’t Invent Modern Celebrity. Meet the Woman Who Did.

Portrait of Sarah Bernhardt by Félix Nadar.

In the art world, time spent making a name for yourself is nearly as vital as time spent making your actual art. Before Vincent van Gogh sliced off his ear, Frida Kahlo kept her unibrow, Marilyn Monroe let her dress fly up, Prince began wearing purple, or Kim Kardashian hit E! Network, turn-of-the-century French actress Sarah Bernhardt adopted a cheetah, courted princes, rehearsed her scripts inside a coffin, and helped invent the celebrity.

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