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Ceramics in the City: Your Summer Guide to the Gardiner

Jun Kaneko sculpture at the Gardiner Museum
3 years ago

Did you know that a visit to a museum can boost your levels of serotonin, aka the “happiness hormone?” Toronto is full of museums and art galleries that can provide an instant dose of art and enjoyment. To get the most out of your next visit to the Gardiner, we’ve compiled a list of objects and experiences you don’t want to miss while you’re here.

Discover fascinating objects in the galleries

Contemporary ceramics at the Gardiner Museum

Spread over two floors, our permanent collection galleries house over 2,000 ceramic objects that date from 3500 B.C. to the present. Uncover the fascinating stories behind our world-renowned collection, and marvel at all the different forms and functions clay has taken on throughout history.

Highlight: The new Rosalie Wise Sharp Gallery, where you can discover a wide range of historical and contemporary objects from our collections storage displayed side by side.

Deepen your knowledge with a docent-led tour

Porcelain monkeys by Meissen

Delve deeper into the rich (and often surprising) histories behind the objects in our collection with a tour led by one of our docents. Docent-led tours are included with admission and take place daily at 2 pm. Our knowledgeable docents’ passion for ceramics is infectious and you’re sure to come away with a new appreciation for this age-old art form.

Explore our award-winning building

Abstract architecture shot of the exterior of the Gardiner Museum

The beautiful light and angles throughout the Museum are a photographer’s dream. The Gardiner re-opened its doors in 2006 after a massive expansion in 2004 led by architecture firm KPMB, and is often cited as one of the most beautiful buildings in the city. Take a self-guided tour of our beautiful exterior and interior, and share you photos with us by using the hashtag #GardinerMuseum!

Enjoy innovative local fare at CLAY

Pizza from CLAY Restaurant at the Gardiner Museum

Inspired by our collection of ceramics, the design of CLAY alone makes it worth a visit. Feast on chef Bianca Azupardo’s seasonal menu and bask in the light of our floor-to-ceiling windows, or dine out on the patio to enjoy some of the city’s best views.

Highlight: Try their renowned CLAY burger, or treat yourself to an afternoon mimosa with your choice of freshly pressed orange or grapefruit juice. Make a reservation

Get hands-on in the pottery studio

Pottery classes at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto

Unplug, unwind, and exercise your creative muscles by signing up for a drop-in clay class! Choose from wheel throwing or hand building, and experiment with your choice of over 100 glazes. Our Drop In Clay Classes are held in our professional pottery studios, and there’s always a potter on hand to help bring out your inner artist. Clay amateurs and pottery professionals of all ages are welcome! Just be sure to register right at 10 am—our drop ins are notorious for selling out.

Shop the latest in Canadian craft

Mugs by Michelle Mendlowitz at the Gardiner Shop

End your visit to the Museum with a visit to  the renowned Gardiner Shop! Explore our wide selection of hand-crafted ceramics, jewellery, and textiles by local emerging and established artists.

Plan your visit to the Gardiner today! We’re open late on Wednesday nights, with half-price admission from 4 – 9 pm, and admission is always free for youth 18 and under.

Images: [1] Left: Gustavo Perez (Mexican, born 1950), Vase, 2012. Stoneware. The Diana Reitberger Collection. Right: Fujino Sachiko (Japanese, born 1950), Untitled, 2016. Stoneware with white, yellow, and grey matte glaze. The Diana Reitberger Collection [2] The Monkey Orchestra (detail), Meissen Porcelain Manufactory, c.1753-1775. Hard-paste porcelain with overglaze enamels, gilding. Gift of George and Helen Gardiner, G83.1.675.1-.18 [3] Flatbread from CLAY Restaurant [4] Drop-in clay class at the Gardiner Museum [5] Mugs by Michelle Mendlowitz

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