We're delighted to announce that the Gardiner Museum will reopen to the public with two days of free admission on Saturday July 11 and Sunday July 12. From July 13 onward, we'll resume our regular hours and admission rates. It seems we've been gone so long—we miss you and can't wait to welcome you back! Please read about our new health and safety protocols before your visit.
During our temporary closure, we're posting exhibitions and selections from our collection online. Discover Inuit ceramics, Chinese and Japanese porcelain, pottery from the Ancient Americas, and more!
We're excited to present a new live series hosted by Chief Curator Sequoia Miller in which an artist will share three of their artworks and speak about them in connection to a larger theme. On Thursday July 9 at 1 pm, Azza El Siddique, a Sudanese-Canadian interdisciplinary artist working in sculpture, installation, painting, photography, and film, will discuss three of her artworks in the context of the theme “Absence”. Registration is free!
Every object in our permanent collection can be accessed through our eMuseum portal. Learn about individual collecting areas, like Italian Maiolica or Modern and Contemporary Ceramics, or search the full collection by keyword. You'll be amazed by what you discover!
We’re closed until further notice, but we’re planning for the day when we can again welcome visitors. We encourage you to make a gift to the Gardiner. This will be vital for when we reopen, and is the optimistic message we all need.
In the thirteenth century, the city of Jingdezhen in Southern China became the main production centre of porcelain and by 1320, its potters further developed the use of cobalt blue for underglaze decoration. Underglaze blue decoration dominated ceramics from the early fourteenth century to the late 1700s. Blue-and-white porcelain conquered markets in South East Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas. It has aptly been called the first truly global commodity, inspiring some of the major ceramic traditions around the world.
Blue-and-white porcelain made in Jingdezhen is the main focus of the Gardiner’s collection of Chinese ceramics. It is especially rich in objects made during the late Ming and Qing dynasties and illustrates the broad demand for porcelain through wares made for various markets and users: the imperial household, the scholar and gentry classes, and the export market. Pieces in this collection also demonstrate the breadth of Chinese and export themes and decorative motifs, including Buddhist and Daoist iconography, auspicious symbols, mythical beings, and scenes derived from literary sources, while integrating forms from various cultures.
The collection of Chinese blue-and-white porcelain was established by Robert Murray Bell and Ann Walker Bell; this was the first donation of Asian ceramics to the Gardiner Museum. It has since been expanded through a significant gift from Janice Gross Stein and Susan Gross Solomon in memory of Anne Romoff Gross.
1. Hulu (Double-gourd) Vase (detail), China, Jingdezhen, Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), The Anne Gross Collection, G15.7.1
2. Hulu (Double-gourd) Vase (detail), China, Jingdezhen, Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), The Anne Gross Collection, G15.7.1
3. Roof Sculpture of Equestrian Figure, China, Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Collection of Ann Walker Bell, G10.4.1
4. Figure of a Courtesan (detail), Japan, Arita, c.1680-1700, The Macdonald Collection, G07.18.17
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