The Gardiner Museum is open seven days a week. Explore our permanent collection, discover special exhibitions, get hands-on with clay in our studios, dine, shop, and more.
Enter an immersive world created by Montreal-based artist Karine Giboulo, brought to life by over 500 miniature polymer clay figures that tell stories about our most urgent social issues, from the pandemic to the climate crisis. It will delight visitors of all ages!
Registration for our popular March Break camps opens to Gardiner Friends on January 23 and to the general public on January 25. From March 13 - 17, kids and teens can explore the Museum and get creative with clay in our pottery studios!
Experience the Gardiner's world-renowned collection, in person and online. From Chinese porcelain to contemporary Canadian ceramics, discover the people and histories behind the objects.
Everyone can love clay! Become a Gardiner Friend and enjoy the benefits, including unlimited admission, advanced clay class registration, invitations to exhibition previews and special events, discounts on lectures and classes, and more.
Travelling from the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
For more than a thousand years, a cemetery on the banks of the Rio Grande Coclé in Panama lay undisturbed, escaping the attention of gold seekers and looters. The river flooded in 1927, scattering beads of gold along its banks. In 1940, a Penn Museum team excavated at the cemetery, unearthing spectacular finds—large golden plaques and pendants with animal-human motifs, precious and semi-precious stone, ivory, and animal bone ornaments, and literally tons of detail-rich painted ceramics. It was extraordinary evidence of a sophisticated Precolumbian people, the Coclé, who lived, died, and painstakingly buried their dead long ago.
One massive burial, named “Burial 11” by the excavators, yielded the most extraordinary materials from the excavation. Believed to be that of a Paramount Chief, it contained 23 individuals in three distinct layers, accompanied by a vast array of grave objects. A to-scale installation of the burial serves as the exhibition’s centerpiece, drawing visitors beneath the surface of the site. The re-creation features many artifacts displayed in the actual positions they were found, as well as digital interactive stations for further exploration.
The art and artifacts uncovered from Burial 11 and throughout the Sitio Conte cemetery were rich in cultural meaning and utilitarian value, and Beneath the Surface uses them to begin to create a portrait of the Coclé people. Central to Exhibition Curator Clark Erickson’s vision of “peopling the past” is a contemporary rendering of the central burial’s Paramount Chief; he stands replete with some of the golden pendants, arm cuffs, and plaques, exquisitely crafted and worthy of a great warrior, which he wore to his grave.
Lindy Barrow & The Hon. Margaret McCain
111 Queen's Park
Canada, M5S 2C7