The Art Gallery at Rivier University presents “Music on View” through April 15

 Photos:  Top right: Pablo Picasso, Woman Ironing, 1904              
               Lower left: Paul Klee, The Twittering Machine, 1922

WomanIroning_PicassoTaking a step beyond the visual, “Music on View: Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition for Contemporary Viewers” combines music and art. This multimedia exhibition features the rich sounds of Pictures at an Exhibition, a musical suite by Modest Mussorgsky, accompanied by select works of Modern art and a website with notes and commentaries. A podcast-type presentation guides visitors through the exhibition. 

“The simultaneous experience of sight and sound,” says Rivier Art Gallery Director Sr. Theresa Couture, “invites the viewer to identify with Mussorgsky’s depiction of an art lover walking through an exhibition, responding to its shifts of mood and its provocative suggestion of relationships between listening and viewing yet to be discovered or imagined.”


Mussorgsky wrote the suite in 1874 after viewing a recently deceased friend’s exhibition of drawings, paintings, and architectural designs. Moved by both the art and loss of his artist friend, Mussorgsky composed eleven short, descriptive vignettes of piano music—one in response to each work. He linked these vignettes, or movements, to one another with a recurring promenade or stroll theme to accompany the full visual retrospective. Most of the pictures that inspired the composer have long been lost, however, Pictures at an Exhibition, as always intended, stands on its own as a musical piece. The Gallery is presenting Maurice Ravel’s orchestral version.

Art historian Sister Marie Couture and gallery director Sister Theresa Couture selected reproductions of ten internationally renowned artists’ paintings for this exhibition. Artists include Marc Chagall, Lyonel Feininger, Vincent van Gogh, Vasily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Jacob Lawrence, Alice Neel, Pablo Picasso, Richard Pousette-Dart, Kay Sage, and Andrew Wyeth. The works selected match the mood and emotional impact of the each of the musical vignettes contained in Pictures at an Exhibition.

The exhibition is on view now through April 15, 2016; it is free and open to the public. The viewing experience is approximately 35 – 40 minutes. Patrons should remember to bring their smart phone or other mobile device and headphones. (Listening devices are also available on-site.)  The Art Gallery is located in Memorial Hall on the Rivier University campus at 420 South Main Street in Nashua.Regular open hours are listed below.The Art Gallery is accessible by elevator and six low steps.


Monday/Wednesday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.    Tuesday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.   

Thursday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.    Friday by appointment for groups   

Patrons can call (603) 897-8280 or email for additional information, or visit the Gallery’s website at