Opening this week: Animal Stories @ the Gardiner

Meet Peter Rabbit, Jumbo the elephant, Clara the rhinoceros, and a menagerie of colourful animals in this family-friendly exhibition.

Elephants, leopards, dogs, squirrels and dragons… From
exotic creatures, household pets, urban wildlife to mythical beasts,
animals have been an active part of human experience, an inexhaustible
trigger of the imagination. Animal Stories presents the many
tales of our encounters with the animal world, shedding light on how
our social, symbolic, affectionate, scientific and utilitarian
relationships with animals have been visualized through ceramics from
the 17th century to our day.

Curated by Karine Tsoumis

Presenting Sponsor lindy barrow 

Stories will delight visitors of all ages, inviting them on a journey that is
both colourful and heartwarming, and sometimes scientific or critical. The
exhibition unfolds through a series of themes that cut across time periods and
that take us to the core of human-animal relationships.  Themes include:
the intersection between art and science, from different approaches to
naturalism to the impact of scientific discourse on art; conceptions of the
wild, from the introduction of “exotic” beasts in 18th-century Europe, to works
that cast a critical look at the current state of wildlife; animals as part of
our everyday, as faithful companions, pets, or beasts of burden; animals as
storytellers, moral teachers and social commentators; and creatures of the
imagination, with representations that bridge the realms of fantasy and
exhibition also features illustrated books alongside ceramics, thus exploring
the longstanding connection between the two media as vehicles for storytelling.
Examples include popular sources employed by 18th-century decorators and
modellers, such as printed natural histories and Aesop’s Fables, as well as a
selection of children’s books featuring beloved animal characters from the 19th
century to the present. 
four centuries of visual culture, Animal Stories will feature Japanese and
Chinese porcelain, English and European ceramics, and the work of many
contemporary ceramic artists, including Shary Boyle, Sergei Isupov, Janet
Macpherson, Lindsay Montgomery, Ann Roberts, Adrian Saxe, Wendy Walgate and
Jason Walker, and original book art by Canadian illustrators such as Brenda
Clark and Barbara Reid among others. The works in the exhibition are drawn from
the Gardiner Museum’s permanent collection, private collections and public

111 Queen’s Park
Toronto, Ontario
M5S 2C7

Tel +1 416.586.8080
Fax +1 416.586.8085