Join à la Carte Kitchen Inc. at the Gardiner Bistro for lunch from Sunday to Friday in the third-floor Terrace Room with stunning views overlooking the city.
February 16 to May 21, 2017
Janet Macpherson: A Canadian Bestiary is an unprecedented group of installations where the artist uses her unique visual language to convey a very personal view of Canada. Through four immersive installations that include sound design by Justin Haynes and Janet Macpherson, and video projections by Renée Lear, Macpherson revisits moments in Canadian history and questions commonly-held conceptions about the North, identity, and our relationship to landscape.
David Balzer, Editor-in-Chief at Canadian Art magazine explores the problems and opportunities surrounding Canada 150: an event that could, and should, be as much about the future as the past.
The Gardiner Museum is Canada’s national museum of ceramics. It is one of a small number of specialized museums of ceramics in the world. Ceramic is the term we use to describe any object, whether created for practical, ritual, or ornamental use, that is made of clay and fired. There are many different types of […]
Each year, people like you help the Gardiner maintain the exhibitions, collections and programs that contribute to the vitality of Toronto by engaging an increasingly diverse population and helping to create community through shared experience.
In the late seventeenth century, “porcelain fever” broke out in Europe. Princes and wealthy merchants were consumed by the passion to collect and use Asian porcelain. Imported porcelain from China and Japan was expensive and was perceived as a tangible sign of prestige and taste.
It was only after many experiments that porcelain was made in Europe.
Two types of porcelain were made in Europe: high-fired “hard paste” porcelain, first made in China and later in Europe, which contained kaolin, and low-fired “soft-paste” porcelain which did not. All porcelain is white, translucent, and resonant; hard-paste porcelain and some varieties of soft-paste can withstand the thermal shock of boiling liquids.
In the 1680s, experiments led to the first commercially viable manufactory of soft-paste porcelain in Europe at Saint-Cloud, outside Paris. It was only after extensive experiments in Saxony by an alchemist, Johann Friedrich Böttger, and a physicist, Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus, that the first European hard-paste porcelain was made, resulting in the founding of the Meissen porcelain manufactory in 1710.
Soft-paste porcelain manufactories were established in France, England, Italy, and Spain in the mid-eighteenth century, but eventually the technology of hard-paste porcelain spread and became dominant in continental Europe.
Explore European Porcelain
1. Rabbit Tureen (detail), England, London, Chelsea, c.1755-1756, Purchased with a gift from Dr. Walter S. Bloom and Carol Bloom Koffler in memory of their mother, Adele S. Bloom, a collector and connoisseur of English porcelain; with a grant from the Government of Canada, Ministry of Communications under the terms of the Cultural Property Export and Import Act and with the assistance of the Tecolote Foundation.
2. Wall Vase (detail), Austria, Du Paquier, c.1730, Gift of George and Helen Gardiner, G83.1.1220
3. Owlet (detail), England, London, Bow, c.1755-1760, Gift of George and Helen Gardiner, G86.1.2
4. Ewer and Basin (detail), France, Sèvres, c.1758, Gift of George and Helen Gardiner, G84.1.2
5. The "Canada Bowl" (detail), Germany, Meissen, c.1724-1725, Gift of George and Helen Gardiner, G83.1.1258
6. Sugar Box with Armorial (detail), Italy, Doccia, c.1745-1750, Gift of George and Helen Gardiner, G83.1.1105
7. Sugar Box with Armorial (detail), Italy, Doccia, c.1745-1750, Gift of George and Helen Gardiner, G83.1.1105
8. Chocolate Pot (detail), Denmark, Copenhagen, c.1775, Gift of George and Helen Gardiner, G83.1.1104
9. The Greeting Harlequin (detail), Germany, Meissen, c.1740, Gift of George and Helen Gardiner, G83.1.908
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
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