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.
With brilliant colours and bold modelling, majolica enlivened the Victorian home. A low-fired earthenware decorated with bright lead-based glazes, it was first introduced by Herbert Minton (1793-1858) at London’s Great Exhibition of 1851. It was an immediate success and a number of manufacturers soon joined in its production.
Victorian majolica was initially inspired by Renaissance ceramics, both in form and colour. Even the name ‘majolica’ alludes to a type of Renaissance pottery known as ‘maiolica.’ Soon producers embraced other popular styles, but nature remained a constant source of inspiration, reflecting the Victorian interest in botany and gardening. The new ware also brought fantasy and humour to ceramics, with objects ranging from whimsical tableware to garden furniture and sculpture.
Shell Flower Holders, England, Minton, 1870, Majolica (lead-glazed earthenware), On loan from the Rosalie Wise Sharp Collection
111 Queen's Park
Canada, M5S 2C7