Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art : Michelin's recommendations
Located in a modern granite building, this museum, the project of collectors George and Helen Gardiner, features pottery and porcelain from a variety of countries and cultures. The Pottery Gallery showcases pre-Columbian works from Mexico, and Central and South America dating from 2000 BC to about AD 1500. The orange Mayan pottery and plumbate (fired with silica glaze) vases are especially noteworthy. Made in Italy in the 15C and 16C, Italian majolica is colourful tin-glazed earthenware. Blues, greens and bright yellows dominate the exhibited pieces, mostly large plates with intricate designs and religious scenes. Tin-glazed earthenware made in England in the 17C became known as delftware. The Porcelain Gallery features 18C porcelains of Du Paquier, Sèvres, the great English companies-Worcester, Derby, Chelsea-and others. Highlights are the Meissenware pieces, in particular the large tea service (c.1745) in a fitted leather travel case, and the commedia dell' arte figures crafted throughout Europe after this 16C form of improvised theatre spread from Italy. There is also an assemblage of tiny, exquisite scent bottles made primarily in England and Germany. The new Bell collection of blue-and-white Chinese porcelain, attractively presented in glass wall cabinets, contains close to 200 pieces, including teapots, covered boxes, vases, platters, wine cups and a large pilgrim flask from the Qing dynasty.
Opening hours :
- Open year-round Mon-Fri 10am-6pm (Tue & Thu 8pm), weekends 10am-5pm. Closed Jan 1, Nov 20 & Dec 25