The Gardiner is now open from Thursday - Sunday, including free weekend admission! There's plenty of space to reconnect and amazing art to discover in all corners of the Museum. Clay Restaurant is still open Tuesday - Sunday. Reservations fill up fast, so book your table early. Please read our new health and safety policies before you visit.
From sticky to crusty, pliable to powdery, and shaped to shapeless, clay’s ability to transform in real time is prompting a new generation of artists to explore the possibilities of this ancient material. RAW features new work by four artists who are pushing boundaries with unfired clay: Cassils, Magdolene Dykstra, Azza El Siddique, and Linda Swanson. See it now!
We're firing up the kilns again! Join us on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 - 3 pm for drop in clay classes in our pottery studios. We've reduced our class sizes to allow for safe physical distancing, and instituted new health and safety protocols. Registration opens online at 10 am on the morning of the class. We can't wait to see you back in the studios!
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!
As we begin to welcome visitors back to the Gardiner, we need your support to continue offering innovative and engaging exhibitions, programs, and community projects on site and online. Make a donation and help us build community with clay.
Tin-glazed earthenware was introduced to England in the late sixteenth century by Flemish potters who settled in the region of Norfolk to escape religious persecution, however, potteries specializing in tin-glazed earthenware (known as delftware) flourished in the London area from about 1610. They served a wide segment of seventeenth-century society, with the highest demand coming from the gentry, rich tradesmen, and members of flourishing guilds. Increased market demand stimulated the emergence of potteries in Brislington near Bristol, and throughout the British Isles.
The collection illustrates a broad range of functional and decorative objects, embellished with popular heraldic and royal motifs, and showing the new fashion for chinoiseries and the impact of Chinese blue-and-white porcelain.
Until England started producing porcelain domestically from 1745 onwards, delftware potteries supplied better-quality ceramic tableware to a middle-class clientele who could not afford Chinese porcelain, nor the continental imports from France and Germany. The production of delftware started to decline in the 1770s when creamware, a new and technically superior earthenware body was introduced to the market.
The Gardiner Museum’s collection of English delftware was largely donated by George and Helen Gardiner and was expanded with a significant gift from Joan Clark from the collection of Thomas Henry Clark.
1. Pair of Shoes (detail), England, possibly London, 1705-1715, Gift of George and Helen Gardiner, G83.1.549.1-2. Photographer: Toni Hafkenscheid
2. Pair of Shoes (detail), England, possibly London, 1705-1715, Gift of George and Helen Gardiner, G83.1.549.1-2. Photographer: Toni Hafkenscheid
3. Hound’s Head Stirrup Cup (detail), England, c. 1770s. Gift of Jean and Kenneth Laundy, G08.2.45
4. Charger (detail), France, Rouen, attributed to the Poterat manufactory, late 17th century, The Pierre Karch and Mariel O'Neill-Karch Collection, G15.8.1
5. Dish with Scenes of the Abduction of Europa (detail), Italy, Faenza, Attributed to the Master of the Bergantini Bowl, c.1537, Gift of George and Helen Gardiner, G83.1.351
6. Bird Dish (detail), England, possibly Staffordshire, possibly by Thomas Toft (d.1689), c.1690-1710, Gift of George and Helen Gardiner, G87.1.3
7. Sculpture of a Stove (detail), Switzerland, Winterthur, c.1650, The Hans Syz Collection, G96.5.418
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