Like many of you, we have been closely following the developments of COVID-19. The safety of our visitors, campers, staff, and volunteers is our top priority. Upon the advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, the Gardiner Museum will close temporarily effective Saturday March 14, 2020.
We will continue to take guidance from our public health officials regarding the duration of the closure and will post updates to our website and social media channels as they become available. We are grateful for your support and thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to navigate this challenging time. We look forward to welcoming you back to the Gardiner soon.
The starting dates of our Spring Clay Classes will be delayed. Rest assured that no cancellation penalties will go into effect before the revised dates have been announced. We are working to develop a new schedule as quickly as possible and appreciate your understanding.
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!
Support the Gardiner's mission to champion clay, build community, and promote arts education. All of our memberships include a full year of free admission to the Museum, as well as discounts at CLAY Restaurant and the Gardiner Shop, and start and at just $30!
Just as elsewhere in Europe, Asian porcelain was collected with passion in France in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. It became part of the goût chinois (Chinese taste), which remained popular until the late eighteenth century. Porcelain was used by the nobility and the wealthy bourgeoisie for decorating, dining, the refined drinking of tea, chocolate, and coffee, and for personal uses in the boudoir.
Soft-paste porcelain was first produced in France in the late seventeenth century, developing from experiments made by faïence makers. The first commercially successful porcelain manufactory was established in Saint-Cloud, outside Paris. Other small manufactories, such as Chantilly and Villeroy-Mennecy enjoyed the patronage of the nobility. But it was the manufactory of Vincennes-Sèvres, which flourished with royal patronage and ownership, that became the arbiter of porcelain style throughout Europe from the mid-1750s until the Revolution. French manufacturers made soft-paste porcelain until kaolin was discovered at Limoges in the late 1760s, when hard-paste porcelain was produced by Sèvres, and later in Paris.
George and Helen Gardiner’s collection of French porcelain has been enhanced with significant gifts from private collectors including Pierre Karch and Mariel O’Neill-Karch. It is the most comprehensive public collection in Canada.
1. Ewer and Basin (detail), France, Sèvres, c.1758, Gift of George and Helen Gardiner, G84.1.2
2. Ewer and Basin (detail), France, Sèvres, c.1758, Gift of George and Helen Gardiner, G84.1.2
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. The Monkey Orchestra (detail), Germany, Dresden, Meissen, c.1753-1775, Gift of George and Helen Gardiner, G83.1.675.1-.18
6. Sugar Box with Armorial (detail), Italy, Doccia, c.1745-1750, Gift of George and Helen Gardiner, G83.1.1105
7. Gardener with Watering Can (detail), Switzerland, Zurich, c.1770, The Hans Syz Collection, G96.5.421
8. Chocolate Pot (detail), Denmark, Copenhagen, c.1775, Gift of George and Helen Gardiner, G83.1.1104
9. Scowling Harlequin (detail), Germany, Meissen, c.1738-40, Gift of George and Helen Gardiner, G83.1.907
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