The Gardiner is thrilled to announce the launch of CLAY, an original in-house restaurant offering seasonal menus of fresh, local fare in collaboration with The Food Dudes.
The Gardiner has reunited for the first time more than 350 objects from Sir William Van Horne’s exceptional collection of Japanese pottery alongside archival materials and stunning watercolours. See it now!
On November 16 & 17, the Gardiner Museum presents the inaugural International Ceramic Art Exposition, featuring contemporary ceramics from a selection of top national and international gallerists.
The Gardiner Museum is among the few museums in the world focused on ceramics, and is one of the most important specialty museums internationally. It houses approximately 4,000 objects, including European porcelain, ceramics from the Ancient Americas, Chinese porcelain, Japanese porcelain, and contemporary ceramics. Search the collection online!
Everyone can love clay! Become a Friend at one of the world’s great specialty museums and enjoy the benefits, including unlimited admission, invitations to exhibition previews and special events, discounts on lectures and clay classes, and more.
Part of the Gardiner Signature Lecture Series
The Robert and Marian Cumming Lecture
There is a wealth of information to be gleaned by deciphering ceramics in Victorian art and literature. This richly illustrated presentation shows that English Genre, Pre-Raphaelite and Aesthetic artists, as well as novelists Charles Dickens, Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, and Anthony Trollope charged their pottery and porcelain with deep metaphorical meanings to heighten the narrative for the public to interpret. Crockery in the cupboard, on the mantel, the table or the floor represented popular motifs exemplifying topical issues touching upon hygiene, faith, temperance and etiquette. Broken and empty vessels stood for despair, neglect, and personified ‘fallen’ women; or alternatively platters and cups filled with food, drink and flowers signified happiness and domesticity. Specific objects, especially jugs were coded by color, size, form and location to demarcate gender and virtue, while the ubiquitous blue willow plate ignited the social divisions of the time: on the one hand serving as a lightening rod of bad taste and lower class and on the one hand embodying national pride of English manufacturing, nostalgia and domesticity, only to be embraced and adopted in the mania for blue-and-white china. This talk explains how depictions of ceramics played a central role moralizing and decorating Victorian society.
About the Speaker
Dr. Rachel Gotlieb, Gardiner Adjunct Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art
Dr. Rachel Gotlieb is Adjunct Curator at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto. She was previously the Gardiner’s Chief Curator and Interim Executive Director. She was the 2017 Theodore Randall International Chair in Art and Design at Alfred University in New York. Gotlieb is currently writing a book titled Ceramics in the Era Victorian: Meanings and Metaphors.
Robert & Marian Cumming
Victorian Studies Association of Ontario
Image: Destiny, John William Waterhouse, 1900
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