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.
In the closing years of the eighteenth century, Josiah Spode developed the first bone china. This hybrid porcelain contains almost 50 per cent calcined bone ash as well as kaolin and feldspar. It amalgamated two earlier developments in English porcelain: bone ash, used first by the Bow manufactory; and kaolin, discovered by William Cookworthy. Bone china was soon adopted by many producers in England because wares could be made with thin, strong bodies that were more stable in the kiln and less expensive to produce.
By 1799 Joseph Poulson, the partner of Thomas Minton, began making bone china next door to Minton’s earthenware manufactory in Stoke-on-Trent. It was marketed by Minton and financed by William Pownall. Production continued until about 1816. During this period at least 948 different patterns were introduced. In 1824, a purpose-built manufactory was built by Minton who introduced an improved formula for bone china. Minton was one of the foremost and most innovative producers of ceramics in England throughout the nineteenth century.
The Gardiner Museum collection of Minton was established by N. Robert Cumming. It ranges from a deep assemblage of early patterns and shapes, through to wares of the early twentieth century.
1. Dessert Plate from the Milton Service, "Our Night Camp on Eagle River - Expecting the Crees" (detail), England, Stoke-On-Trent, Minton, c.1967, Purchased with a Gift from N. Robert Cumming, G04.20.1
2. Dessert Plate from the Milton Service, "Our Night Camp on Eagle River - Expecting the Crees" (detail), England, Stoke-On-Trent, Minton, c.1967, Purchased with a Gift from N. Robert Cumming, G04.20.1
3. Cake Plate with Arctic Landscape (detail), England, Manufacturer Unknown, c.1840, The Barbara and James Moscovich Collection of Canadian Historical China, G13.15.44
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