We've reopened with modified summer hours and free admission on weekends! There's plenty of space to reconnect and amazing art to discover in all corners of the Museum. Please read our new health and safety policies before your visit.
From sticky to crusty, pliable to powdery, and shaped to shapeless, clay’s ability to transform in real time is prompting a new generation of artists to explore the possibilities of this ancient material. RAW features new work by four artists who are pushing boundaries with unfired clay: Cassils, Magdolene Dykstra, Azza El Siddique, and Linda Swanson. See it now!
We're excited to introduce Clay Date, a new online art fundraiser in support of the Gardiner Museum and inspired by the special exhibition RAW. Presented by the Young Patron Circle's SMASH Committee, Clay Date will virtually unite a community of art enthusiasts and cultural philanthropists for an evening with artist Habiba El-Sayed.
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!
As we begin to welcome visitors back to the Gardiner, we need your support to continue offering innovative and engaging exhibitions, programs, and community projects on site and online. Make a donation and help us build community with clay.
Online ticket sales are now closed. Tickets will be available at the door starting at 6 pm.
$18 General / $15 Gardiner Friends
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
111 Queen's Park
Canada, M5S 2C7