Pictures at an Exhibition. . . the title says it all. . . and disregarding that, even the most casual exposure to the music of Moussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition can evoke an assortment of moods and images. For years I assumed that somewhere there existed the definitive collection of artwork that was Moussorgsky’s inspiration. In reality, only six pieces of Victor Hartmann’s work, consisting of architectural drawing and costume design and sketches and watercolors from his travels, can be positively identified. I found the subject matter intriguing, and just a bit odd. This series began as a way for me to visualize and interpret Moussorgsky’s music through Hartmann’s subject matter, but became an homage to the story itself: the musician and the artist and the artwork that lives on only in the music it inspired.
This series was included in Prints at an Exhibition in January, 2006, at Summit Artspace in Akron, Ohio. Dorothy Shinn, in the Akron Beacon Journal review, Stellar Printmakers Put Stamp on Exhibit, wrote, “Colbert’s images are visually powerful and engaging. She capitalizes on her ability to create an intricate web of positive and negative spaces, lyrical linearities and delightful reinterpretations of the given motifs.”