Art Gallery of Alberta

New exhibition at your AGA is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the grandeur of 500 years of Italian painting!

New exhibition at your AGA is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the grandeur of 500 years of Italian painting!

Artworks from renowned masters Bellini, Botticelli and Titian come to Edmonton.

Edmonton, AB (December 5/13) – The Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA) is thrilled to kick off the holiday season with the new exhibition Of Heaven and Earth: 500 Years of Italian Painting from Glasgow Museums, on view December 14, 2013 through March 9, 2014. The AGA is the only Canadian destination for this exhibition, featuring artworks by some of the greatest names in European art history including Giovanni Bellini, Sandro Botticelli and Titian.


Of Heaven and Earth: 500 Years of Italian Painting from Glasgow Museums
Friday, December 13, 1 pm, Art Gallery of Alberta

Remarks by:
Catherine Crowston, Executive Director / Chief Curator, Art Gallery of Alberta
Michelle Hargrave, Curator of Exhibitions, American Federation of Arts

Interviews and exhibition access are available following the opening remarks.

Of Heaven and Earth: 500 Years of Italian Painting from Glasgow Museums brings together 41 artworks by 35 different artists that vividly trace the achievements in Italian painting—from the religious works of the late-Middle Ages and Renaissance to the neo-classical secular and genre paintings of the 19th century. The exhibition is organized into five chronological sections corresponding to the different centuries—with each section represented by world-class paintings that reflect the stylistic accomplishments of the major creative centres in Italy: Bologna, Florence, Milan, Naples, Rome, Siena and Venice.

“This exhibition is a rare chance for Albertans to see first-hand such a wide range of historical Italian masterworks,” says AGA Executive Director / Chief Curator, Catherine Crowston. “Some of these paintings haven’t been on public display for over a century. It is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Many of these artworks underwent restoration for this exhibition, so visitors will be able to experience the rich colours, delicate details and moving images these incredible paintings have to offer. Viewers will also be struck by the grandeur of these paintings—many are large in scale and in original 19th century gilt frames.

Glasgow Museums has one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of Italian paintings in the UK. One of the most important works in the collection is Titian’s Christ and the Adulteress, which is included in this exhibition and is one of the artist’s few early works that can be seen outside of Italy.

Throughout the holiday season, the Gallery will be offering a Christmas-themed tour, where the Christmas story will be told through the paintings on display. These tours will take place on December 21, 22 and 24. There will also be general exhibition tours taking place daily from December 21, 2013 to January 5, 2014. Please visit for times. The AGA will also be open extra days this holiday season on Monday, December 23 and Monday, December 30 from 11 am to 5 pm, and Servus Community Access Night is on a special night: Thursday, December 19, 6-9 pm—enjoy free admission courtesy of Servus Credit Union. ZINC restaurant will be serving up an Italian-style menu themed around this exhibition.

Of Heaven and Earth: 500 Years of Italian Painting from Glasgow Museums is organized by the American Federation of Arts and Glasgow Museums. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities. The exhibition tour is generously supported by the JFM Foundation and the Donald and Maria Cox Trust. In-kind support is provided by Barbara and Richard S. Lane and Christie’s.

For media information and to RSVP for the Media Preview please contact:
Kimberly Van Nieuvenhuyse, Communications Specialist

T: 780.392.2468 E:

Public Programs and Events


Members’ Opening Reception
Friday, December 13, 7:30 pm
AGA Members and VIPs Only

Public Programs

Art for Lunch
Renaissance Man: Titian and the Venetian School
Thursday, December 19, 12:10-12:50 pm

Exhibition Tours
Daily starting December 21, 2013 to January 5, 2014.

Of Heaven and Earth Lecture with Dr. Francesco Freddolini
Saturday, January 25, 2 pm

The Art Gallery of Alberta is a centre of excellence for the visual arts in Western Canada, connecting people, art and ideas. The AGA is focused on the development and presentation of original exhibitions of contemporary and historical art from Alberta, Canada and around the world. The AGA also offers a full-range of art education and public programs. Founded in 1924, the Art Gallery of Alberta maintains a collection of more than 6,000 objects and is the oldest cultural institution in Alberta. It is the only museum in the province solely dedicated to the exhibition and preservation of art and visual culture.

The Art Gallery of Alberta is a not-for-profit organization that relies on the support of its Members, donors, sponsors and government. The AGA is grateful for the generous support of the many public and private donors and sponsors who have made the AGA’s New Vision possible, as well as the ongoing support of the City of Edmonton, the Edmonton Arts Council, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, the Canada Council for the Arts and our Members.

Glasgow Museums’ art collection is one of the most significant in the UK. It consists of approximately 60,000 objects covering a wide range of media and provides a detailed overview of the history of European art and design. It includes masterpieces by major artists such as Botticelli, Van Gogh and Whistler. Among collections of major international significance are Italian Renaissance paintings, Dutch Old Masters and French Impressionist works. The collection of Italian paintings is among the finest, both intellectually and aesthetically, held by any municipal museum service in the UK. It includes works ranging from the 14th to the late 19th century, originating from the main artistic centres of Italy.

The American Federation of Arts (AFA), a not-for-profit organization, initiates and organizes art exhibitions and provides educational and professional programs in collaboration with the museum community. Established in 1909, the AFA is one of the oldest art organizations in the country.

In 1909, then Secretary of State Elihu Root outlined AFA’s mission in an address to the National Academy of the Arts: to enrich the public’s experience and understanding of art, primarily by taking original works “on tour to the hinterlands of the United States.” Since its founding, the AFA has organized or circulated approximately 3,000 exhibitions, with presentations—in every state, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa—viewed by well over ten million people. Today, the AFA continues to explore new opportunities to cultivate fertile ground for the broadest dissemination and appreciation of the visual arts.

AFA exhibitions encompass a wide range of mediums, artists, historical periods, and cultural traditions, from Roman portraiture and Native American artifacts to American impressionism and contemporary art and sculpture. The AFA also collaborates with distinguished institutions around the world to tour important aspects of their collections. To further engage and inform museum visitors and art enthusiasts, the AFA produces innovative educational components and richly illustrated catalogues introducing original scholarship.