The Gardiner Museum is open seven days a week! Explore our permanent collection, discover special exhibitions, and get hands-on with clay in our studios. We look forward to welcoming you.
Discover an exhibition of new work in our lobby by members of Inspirations Studio, a unique low-barrier ceramics program in Toronto for women and gender diverse people who have experienced marginalization.
Our Joy of Ceramics fundraiser returns on October 27, featuring a presentation by Sarah Milroy, Chief Curator at the McMichael Gallery, who will talk about a work by Shary Boyle, including its many meanings and her decision to donate it. This event sells out every year!
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!
Help us continue to offer innovative and engaging exhibitions, programs, and community projects in person and online, as well as plan for the future. Please consider making a donation today.
Among the most distinctive areas of the Gardiner Museum’s collection is its famous group of 150 European porcelain figures inspired by the Commedia dell’Arte. The Commedia dell’Arte was a popular form of theatre that emerged in Europe during the Renaissance and remained popular until well into the eighteenth century. The collection includes examples from most European porcelain manufactories showing the characters and costumes of the actors, their gestures, and comic poses. These figures were usually utilized as ornaments for the table in the eighteenth century.
The origin of the collection is also of interest. It was initially assembled by George Gardiner as a memento of his directorship of Harlequin Enterprises Ltd., publishers of popular novels. It has since been augmented by gifts from William and Molly Anne Macdonald and the heirs of Dr. Hans Syz.
1. Scowling Harlequin (detail), Germany, Meissen, c.1738-40, Gift of George and Helen Gardiner, G83.1.907
2. Scowling Harlequin (detail), Germany, Meissen, c.1738-40, Gift of George and Helen Gardiner, G83.1.907
3. Wall Vase (detail), Austria, Du Paquier, c.1730, Gift of George and Helen Gardiner, G83.1.1220
4. Sunflower Dish (detail), England, London, c.1755, Gift of George and Helen Gardiner, G83.1.1108.1-2
5. Ewer and Basin (detail), France, Sèvres, c.1758, Gift of George and Helen Gardiner, G84.1.2
6. The Monkey Orchestra (detail), Germany, Dresden, Meissen, c.1753-1775, Gift of George and Helen Gardiner, G83.1.675.1-.18
7. Sugar Box with Armorial (detail), Italy, Doccia, c.1745-1750, Gift of George and Helen Gardiner, G83.1.1105
8. Gardener with Watering Can (detail), Switzerland, Zurich, c.1770, The Hans Syz Collection, G96.5.421
9. Chocolate Pot (detail), Denmark, Copenhagen, c.1775, Gift of George and Helen Gardiner, G83.1.1104
10. Teapot (detail), Germany, Meissen, c.1730, decorated at Lauche, Gift of George and Helen Gardiner, G83.1.764
11. Exotic Bird (detail), England, London, St. Jame's Factory, c.1751-1754, Gift of George and Helen Gardiner, G83.1.1005
111 Queen's Park
Canada, M5S 2C7