It’s an unfortunate but accurate truth: Museums are often the domain of tourists, with local residents letting them fall to the end of their to-do list. But- with the staycation having risen in popularity throughout the pandemic, there is no time like the present to take advantage of Toronto’s impressive collection.
One of particular interest that falls into that category is the Gardiner Museum, tucked away on Queen’s Park, just south of Bloor!
*Photo courtesy of Urbacon.net
The Gardiner Museum
If you are looking for a thought-provoking afternoon, plan to visit the Gardiner Museum, just around the corner from the Royal Ontario Museum. It originally opened in 1984 by George and Helen Gardiner as a means of displaying their impressive collection of ancient American artifacts and European pottery and porcelain. Today the Gardiner Museum is home to a number of permanent collections and is an excellent collaborative space for artists.
This museum had been managed by the ROM, but after receiving an endowment from George Gardiner in the mid-1990s, it regained independence. What this means is a little more control over exhibits and museum offerings, making it a little more unique.
*Photo courtesy of the Canadian Encyclopedia
The Gardiner Museum supports COVID-10 protocols, which includes enhanced cleaning, use of plexiglass barriers and running the museum at reduced capacity (50 % indoors and 75% on the Linda Frum and Howard Sokolowski Plaza outdoors). They are not doing timed ticketing.
Current exhibits include the Garniture Remix. Garniture is the “ensemble of matching vases and other vessels made for display, or to “garnish” a specific location”. This practice began in Europe in the 1600s. This exhibit looks at Garniture as a strategic, but expressive collection of objects assembled together.
Also on is Shannon Weston: African Identities which showcases figurative sculptures featuring designs based on African scarification. African scarification is a tradition of body-modifying art practiced throughout the world by various tribal groups.
These are in addition to their collections, that provide an opportunity to observe wide variety of works sourced from around the world. If you prefer, you can view these collections from the comfort of your own home through their eMuseum portal.
There is interactive opportunity at the Gardiner Museum in addition to the exhibits Looking for a family outing that will get your creative juices flowing and count as quality time together? Every Sunday, the Gardiner Museum hosts family-oriented clay making or tile painting workshops. Currently, these workshops are being held outside in the plaza, weather permitting.
Do you enjoy pottery? Are you looking for instruction on the art or on how to make certain objects or stoneware? There is a comprehensive series of adult courses available for registration. There are also number of ceramic-focuses classes (some drop-in) for adults and children alike.
Classes are being limited to small groups and pre-registration is necessary.
*Photo courtesy of LivingTorontoJournal
The Gardiner Museum isn’t just about the exhibits and the programming; there is also an excellent restaurant on premises, aptly named Clay, tying into the ceramic theme of the art collections. Currently, Clay is open to limited capacity to accommodate physical distancing while dining Clay offers “seasonal menus of fresh, local fare, and inspired design that’s deeply connected to the Museum’s ceramic focus!” – Gardiner
*Photo courtesy of Food Dudes
111 Queen’s Park
Toronto M5S 2C7
Currently, the museum is closed on Monday (with the exception of Holiday Mondays) and Tuesdays.
Thursday – Friday: 10 am – 6 pm
Saturday – Sunday: 10 am – 5 pm
Holiday Mondays: 10 am – 5 pm
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