Plan your visit to CLAY, offering a seasonal menu of fresh local fare in one of the city's most beautiful spaces. Try our newly-launched spring menu today!
See an extraordinary spectrum of contemporary works, including vessels, figurative sculpture, and abstract forms in The Diana Reitberger Collection, on display in our Modern and Contemporary Ceramics Gallery.
Our new kids clay camps now include earlier start times, art-filled field trips, and fresh new themes. Register now for a summer of creative hands-on fun!
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!
Everyone can love clay! Become a Friend at one of the world’s great specialty museums and enjoy the benefits, including unlimited admission, invitations to exhibition previews and special events, discounts on lectures and clay classes, and more.
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