We're thrilled to welcome you back safely to the Gardiner with new artworks and exhibitions, hands-on activities, studio classes, dining, shopping, and more. Plan your visit today!
We've reopened our doors with a series of new artworks and exhibitions on display, including Garniture Remix, an installation of vases and vessels from all areas of the collection. There's so much to discover this season!
Join us every Sunday from 11 am - 3 pm for Family Day clay and tile-painting activities, including with admission. Until October 31, Family Day will take place on our outdoor plaza, weather permitting. We can't wait to see you there!
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!
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