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Pictures in Pictures

March 11–July 16, 2022

Across the centuries and around the world, artists and makers have created images that include other images in their compositions. The artworks in this exhibition present a wide range of approaches to this motif, from the expected—embedded paintings, photographs, and drawings—to the surprising and immaterial—illusions, reflections, and shadows.

This exhibition gathers works from across the museum’s collection to explore what this artistic device can do. In some cases, artists use it to comment on the practice of art- and image-making, as in the examples of self-portraits, mirror reflections, and depictions of artists at work. In other cases, images playfully assemble objects, people, and ideas that might not otherwise coexist. In these pictures, artists enable ghosts to manifest in the physical world, and ancestral figures to commingle with the living. Or they might forge connections between past and present, layering and superimposing images to explore memory and history.

Main Building

Image Gallery

Get a sneak peek at key works in this installation.


Pictures in Pictures has been made possible by the Lois G. and Julian A. Brodsky Installation and Exhibition Fund.


Amanda N. Bock, Lynne and Harold Honickman Assistant Curator of Photographs; Laurel Garber, Park Family Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings; and Jun Nakamura, Suzanne Andree Curatorial Fellow
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