Burnaby Art Gallery Presents: Saints, Sinners and Souvenirs: Italian Masterworks on Paper

The Burnaby Art Gallery (BAG) is excited to present Saints, Sinners and Souvenirs: Italian Masterworks on Paper from September 13-November 17. This exhibition, the first of its kind in over 30 years in Metro Vancouver, showcases a selection of Italian Master prints and drawings from Vancouver-area public and private collections, dating from the Renaissance up to the late 18th century. The public is invited to the opening reception on Thursday, September 12 at 7:00PM.

Running concurrently is a complementary exhibition with SFU Library Special Collections featuring early printed books from the Wosk-McDonald Aldine Collection.

“Both of these exhibitions explore Italy’s long creative history and the significance it plays at the roots of the modern world,” says guest curator Dr. Hilary Letwin.

Saints, Sinners and Souvenirs 
celebrates the dissemination of ideas and the people who fuel it. Throughout most of history, books were handwritten before being printed and most works of art started as sketches, representing ideas. However, the culmination of these ideas would amount to little without the work of a publisher­­—someone who nurtures an idea into a print or book. Once transformed into portable objects, ideas are passed easily and shared widely by networks of people across vast geographical areas.

To further enhance dialogue and to engage in the process of sharing ideas, this exhibition is presented together with a hard-cover art publication with essays by Dr. Hilary Letwin, guest curator; Dr. Julian Brooks, Senior Curator of Drawings and Department Head, J. Paul Getty Museum; and Ralph Stanton, Former Director of Special Collections at Simon Fraser University Library.

Saints, Sinners and Souvenirs: Italian Masterworks on Paper
 will be on display at the Burnaby Art Gallery from September 13 until November 17. During the exhibition, the public can participate in an array of programs to learn more about the influence of Italian art.



Opening Reception
Thursday, September 12, 7-9pm | Free, Everyone Welcome

Join us for the opening reception at the Burnaby Art Gallery. Mingle with guests and learn more about the importance of the artworks featured in the exhibition.

In the BAG Family Sundays
Sundays, 1-4pm | Drop-in, all ages

Come and make art! Get your minds humming with a visit to the gallery and then into the studio for family-friendly art projects. A different project is featured each month. Each program begins on the hour and half-hour mark with the last program at 3:30pm. Sponsored by ABC Recycling.

September 15             Drawing From History

October 20                  Printing the Present

November 17              Collecting Memories


Saturday, September 28, 1-3pm | Free, as part of Culture Days

Explore the Burnaby Art Gallery’s exhibition, Saints, Sinners and Souvenirs: Italian Masterworks on Paper before joining experienced printmakers in the studio for a hands-on printmaking activity.


Curator’s Talk
Sunday, September 29, 2pm | Free, as part of Culture Days

Join guest curator Dr. Hilary Letwin for an in-depth tour of the exhibition Saints, Sinners and Souvenirs: Italian Masterworks on Paper.


Baroque and Classical Music Concert
Sunday, October 6, 2-4pm | $5.00 | To register: 604-297-4422

For this Sunday musical matinee, listen to the sounds of Italian Renaissance, Baroque and Classical periods while sitting amongst the works of Italian masters featured in the gallery’s exhibition Saints, Sinners, and Souvenirs. Concert followed by a small reception in the Fireside Room. Featured Quartet: The Modern Strings.

Study Day

Monday, October 28, 10am-2:30pm | Free

Join Dr. Hilary Letwin, guest curator; Dr. Julian Brooks, Senior Curator of Drawings and Department Head, J. Paul Getty Museum; and Ralph Stanton, Former Director of Special Collections at Simon Fraser University Library for presentations, discussions and examinations of Italian art and culture featured in the exhibition as well as a dialogue about the impacts and influences Italy had on the Modern West.




Dr. Hilary Letwin (Guest Curator & Co-Author)

Dr. Hilary Letwin gained her PhD in Art History from Johns Hopkins University in 2013, writing her dissertation on sixteenth-century Italian prints. She has held Curatorial Fellowships at the British Museum and the Baltimore Museum of Art. She has guest curated a number of art exhibitions, including at the Seymour Art Gallery, the Gordon Smith Gallery of Canadian Art, the Richmond Art Gallery, and the Burnaby Art Gallery. Her publications include Assistant Editor on The Pouncey Index for Baldinucci’s Notizie, with contributions to Print Quarterly, Montecristo Magazine, and the exhibition catalogue, Myth, Allegory, and Faith: The Kirk Edward Long Collection of Mannerist Prints (Cantor Center for the Visual Arts, Stanford University, 2016). She currently works as the Assistant Curator at the West Vancouver Art Museum.

Julian Brooks (Co-Author)

Julian Brooks is Senior Curator and Department Head in the Department of Drawings at the

  1. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. He is a specialist in Italian and British drawings, and was curator of the Getty exhibition Andrea del Sarto: The Renaissance Workshop in Action (2015), which also showed at the Frick Collection, New York.He was co-curator of two collaborations with Tate in London: JMW Turner: Painting Set Free(2015), and London Calling: Bacon, Freud, Kossoff, Andrews, Auerbach, and Kitaj (2016). Upcoming projects include Michelangelo: Mind of the Master (Getty, from February 2020) and The Visionary World of William Blake (Getty, from July 2020).

    Ralph Stanton (Co-Author)
    Ralph Stanton served as Special Collections and Rare Books Librarian at Simon Fraser University in the 1990s and was instrumental in bringing the Wosk-McDonald Collection to SFU in 1995. From 2002 until his retirement in 2013, he was Head, Rare Books and Special Collections Division at the University of British Columbia Library. With more than 40 years of experience in public, college and University libraries, Stanton has played a key role in the acquisition of many outstanding book, manuscript and map collections and is especially interested in the development of library collections and library architecture. He is Administrative Librarian Emeritus at UBC.


    Since 1967, the Burnaby Art Gallery (BAG) has been dedicated to collecting, preserving and presenting a contemporary and historical visual art program by local, national and internationally recognized artists. The BAG acts as a leader in the collection, preservation and exhibition of artists who choose to work on paper–the only public art museum in Canada dedicated to works of art on paper. Through our collection and exhibition practices the BAG endeavours to represent the best and most promising Canadian artists. The BAG cares for and manages over 5,700 works of art in the City of Burnaby’s Permanent Art Collection.

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