Plan your visit to CLAY, offering a seasonal menu of fresh local fare in one of the city's most beautiful spaces. Try our newly-launched spring menu today!
Ai Weiwei is one of the world’s most influential artists and human rights activists, and one of China’s most formidable critics. Ai Weiwei: Unbroken features a selection of the artist's most iconic ceramics, and marks the international debut of new work. See it now!
SMASH: Nourish is a night of bold artwork, delicious cuisine, refreshing drinks, and invigorating experiences. The Gardiner Museum Young Patron Circle's annual art party sold out last year, so get your tickets early!
The Gardiner Museum is among the few museums in the world focused on ceramics, and is one of the most important specialty museums internationally. It houses approximately 4,000 objects, including European porcelain, ceramics from the Ancient Americas, Chinese porcelain, Japanese porcelain, and contemporary ceramics. Search the collection online!
Everyone can love clay! Become a Friend at one of the world’s great specialty museums and enjoy the benefits, including unlimited admission, invitations to exhibition previews and special events, discounts on lectures and clay classes, and more.
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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