In accordance with the announcement by the provincial government, the Gardiner Museum has closed temporarily. The health and safety of our visitors, staff, and the wider community remains our top priority. We'll continue to provide you with engaging digital content to keep us connected while the galleries are closed.
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!
On Thursday April 29 at 1 pm, join us for a free online lecture with Professor Alison McQueen, who will discuss the significant contributions of women working at Sèvres in the first century of its history. The presentation will feature works from leading international porcelain collections and bring attention to the often-overlooked roles of women retouching glaze, laying down prints, and burnishing. Register now!
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!
With the Museum closed temporarily, we need your support to continue to offer innovative and engaging exhibitions, programs, and community projects online, as well as plan for the future. Please consider making a donation to help us build community with clay.
This collection surveys the production of some of the most important centres of production of tin-glazed earthenware in France, where the wares were known as faïence. Knowledge of tin-glazing reached France in the second half of the sixteenth century when Italian artisans settled in the cities of Rouen, Lyon, and Nevers. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, production spread to other centres such as Marseilles, Moustier, and Sceaux.
Tin-glazed earthenware was used in the making of both functional and ornamental objects. Pieces in the Gardiner Museum’s collection also show how faïence makers first worked under the influence of Italian maiolica before turning to Chinese porcelain as their main source of inspiration.
Faïence provided a less expensive alternative to Chinese porcelain and to the European hard-paste and soft-paste porcelain produced in the eighteenth century. The discovery of kaolin sources in France, which enabled the production of more durable hard-paste porcelain, as well as the spread of less expensive creamware, caused the decline of the faïence industry in the late eighteenth century.
The Gardiner’s collection of French faïence was donated by Pierre Karch and Mariel O’Neill-Karch.
1. Charger (detail), France, Rouen, attributed to the Poterat manufactory, late 17th century, The Pierre Karch and Mariel O'Neill-Karch Collection, G15.8.1
2. Charger (detail), France, Rouen, attributed to the Poterat manufactory, late 17th century, The Pierre Karch and Mariel O'Neill-Karch Collection, G15.8.1
3. Hound’s Head Stirrup Cup (detail), England, c. 1770s. Gift of Jean and Kenneth Laundy, G08.2.45
4. Pair of Shoes (detail), England, possibly London, 1705-1715, Gift of George and Helen Gardiner, G83.1.549.1-2. Photographer: Toni Hafkenscheid
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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