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Holidays at the Gardiner Museum

2 months ago

December is our favourite month at the Gardiner Museum and the perfect time for a visit with friends and family. And this year, more than ever, the museum offers a safe space to reconnect and share in some holiday cheer. So we’ve compiled a list of our Museum must-dos.

See the special exhibition

Take a trip to Italy this holiday season without leaving the city! Visitors are raving about our special exhibition Renaissance Venice: Life and Luxury at the Crossroads, a sensory world of more than 110 objects, including Chinese porcelain, Islamic metalware, Venetian ceramics and glass, and contemporary art.

At the forefront is the story of Venice’s maiolica industry as it developed throughout the 1500s and the role of ceramics in encapsulating cultural exchanges and intersections.

Objects from the Gardiner’s world-renowned collection are on display alongside loans from The Met, V&A, Corning Museum of Glass, AGO, ROM, Bata Shoe Museum, Textile Museum of Canada, and more—all brought together in one sumptuous exhibition. It’s a truly unmissable art experience.

Discover what’s new in the galleries

Explore our permanent collection galleries to discover new works and revisit beloved favourites. Our Modern and Contemporary Gallery was recently reinstalled with objects representing a diversity of cultures and geographies, including recent acquisitions like the Harmsen Collection of African village pottery and work by Indigenous artist Nadia Myre.

In the Joan Courtois Gallery, you’ll encounter Garniture Remix, an unexpected assemblage of objects from the permanent collection spanning three floors of the Museum’s soaring staircase. The installation brings together works from all areas of the collection, unified by colour and design. A 17th-century Ming dynasty vase mingles with a series of vessels by Edmund de Waal, and a Meissen jar looks at home alongside works by contemporary Canadian artist Grey Payce. It’s also spectacular backdrop for that perfect holiday photo.

Join in some festive clay fun

After taking in the collection and special exhibition, it’s time to get hands-on! Our lobby clay table is open every day from 11 am – 3 pm, with special family activities on Sundays. Pull up a chair and mould your wish or hope for the season out of clay and display it for your fellow visitors to enjoy. As more clay creations begin to populate our lobby, our community installation will take shape. A visit to the Museum isn’t complete without getting your hands into some clay.

Enjoy lunch at Clay Restaurant

Turn your museum visit into an unforgettable holiday outing with lunch at Clay Restaurant. Reflect on your experience in the galleries and reconnect with friends and family in the light-filled Terrace Room overlooking Queen’s Park. Chef Bianca Azupardo’s seasonal menu features new dishes like pain perdu with challah bread and berry compote, and charred aubergine with squash and garlic tahini, as well as classics like the Clay burger and Fogo Island fish and chips.

Find the perfect gift in the Shop

No visit to the museum is complete without a trip to the Gardiner Shop. Treat yourself or find the perfect gift for the art lover on your list. Browse our curated selection of ceramics, jewellery, glass, books, textiles, and gifts for the home made by top local artists. Plus, Gardiner Friends get 20% off on all Shop purchases throughout December!

From exhibitions and clay making to dining and shopping, a visit to the Gardiner is your perfect holiday plan. Visit gardinermuseum.com to book your visit today!


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The Gardiner Museum will reopen on Monday January 31.Learn more