The Meta-Museum: A Work of Art Depicting Museum Visitors Admiring a Work of Art

Before you head off on summer holiday, take a look at the newest addition to the Museum of Fine Art, Boston’s, Arts of the Americas wing. Warren Prosperi’s realist painting, “Museum Epiphany III,” depicts museum visitors amid the 19th-century paintings and sculptures in the Penny and Jeff Vinik Gallery of the Museum.

Those years I spent studying and copying at the MFA, I got to see the life of the museum. There’s different types of people who are always moving through the gallery. At one point I said, “All this vibrant life in the museum is a painting in and of itself.” So I started a group of paintings about the works of art, and the museumgoers, and their relationship to each other. - Warren Prosperi in a Boston Globe interview

“Museum Ephiphany I” and “Museum Ephiphany II” also feature specific locations in the Museum and were purchased by Museum trustee, David Croll. “Museum Epiphany III” will be one in a series of potentially 25 paintings.

What a turn of events when visitors become the subject of the art they view.

(Photo courtesy: David L. Ryan/Globe Staff)