Just a few months in the past, I entered the grand marble lobby of the Metropolitan Museum of Artwork for the primary time for the reason that pandemic started. Being contained in the museum was like driving a motorbike, in that my physique instinctively remembered the place it needed to go. And the place it needed to go, amongst different locations, was straight to the reward store. Standing between an array of Costume Institute postcards and a desk groaning beneath the load of lacquered trays and catalogues raisonnés and Artwork Deco chandelier earrings and embossed notepads and desk calendars and enamel lapel pins and leather-based journals and costumey amulets, I discovered myself having a consumerist pressure of Stendhal syndrome. (Spend-all syndrome?) It had one thing to do with the truth that virtually all the objects have been interesting and none have been even near crucial. After the higher a part of two years procuring little or no IRL, the stagy superfluousness of the Met store jolted me proper again right into a state of pure buying pleasure.
The reality is, it’s not simply the Met store or the MOMA Design Retailer that scratch the itch for me, as impeccably curated as these shops are. In reality, the extra obscure or hyper-focussed a museum is, the extra enjoyable its reward store tends to be. Take me to the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, in Santa Fe, with its gaucho hats and hammered silver alphabet jewelry. Take me to the Heinz Historical past Middle, in Pittsburgh, with its pierogi earrings and Yinzer stickers. Take me to the Tenement Museum, with its bagel-shaped salt and pepper shakers (probably the best of all New York museum shops). Though every store shares its sensibility—and its income—with the bigger establishment it’s hooked up to, most of the smaller and funkier museum outlets stuff their cabinets with eccentric trinkets that echo the museum’s aesthetic extra in spirit than in substance. (See, as an illustration: this set of disembodied-leg “herb markers”, from the macabre Mütter Museum, in Philadelphia, or a hand-stitched leather goblet, from the Hampton Court docket Palace, in London.) A superb museum store appears like a cross between an area flea market, a midnight spin by Etsy, a mall novelty kiosk, a nook bookseller, and a lucid dream. This reward information is probably coming a bit too near the vacations to be maximally helpful, however you may consider it as a springboard to buying your self and others within the years to return. A be aware: most nice museum outlets are actually totally on-line, however looking in individual is half the enjoyable.
Costs listed under are correct as of publication however might fluctuate over time.
Assume Surprises, Not Souvenirs
Let’s get the plain out of the way in which: no person needs a commemorative shot glass, or a rubber fridge magnet, or a sweatshirt that blares out the title of a hoary nonprofit establishment like an merchandise of sports activities memorabilia. If you end up procuring at a museum retailer, you could resist the siren name of logoed knickknacks. This stuff transmit both “I used to be there” (which, because the reward giver, you’re already telegraphing implicitly) or “I help this place” (which, nice, however you need your items to sign pleasure, not advantage). In relation to museum gifting, the extra random the higher. A toothpick-holder bird ($10) from MOMA that has deranged mid-century-hostess aptitude. A pair of real-deal aviator sunglasses with SkyTec lenses ($248), from the Smithsonian. Moon Chalk ($34). A Chris Ofili tea towel ($36). A campfire harmonica ($13.30), from the Galt Museum. Danish coasters ($69.95) that exemplify “cocaine décor.” Coffee-and-beignet socks ($22.50). A secret-capsule necklace ($128), from the Worldwide Spy Museum. Egg-shaped maracas ($18), from the New Museum. A huge Judy Chicago “goddess figure” candle ($100), from the de Younger, that’s so fairly you received’t wish to gentle it. A limited-edition Met x Harlem Candle Co. candle ($65), impressed by Seneca Village, that you just completely will wish to gentle, with the intention to fill a room with the scent of untamed thyme and cedar. A quilt-inspired vinyl kitchen mat ($42), from the American People Artwork Museum. Mint-julep-scented soap ($6.50), from the Kentucky Derby Museum. A make-your-own beaded beast ($18). And, lastly, a yodelling pickle toy ($13.95), from the Nationwide Mustard Museum, in Wisconsin, which comes with a disclaimer: “The yodel goes on for a full 11 seconds. For these with no humorousness, it can really feel like an eternity. For these with a classical music background, it can appear even longer.”
Lengthy Reside the Novelty T-Shirt
T-shirts are honest recreation—the truth is, they will make nice items—however they need to be both stunning to behold or breathtakingly inane. Some winners: minimalist cow-skull scribbles ($24), from the O’Keeffe Museum. A T. rex rides the B train ($24.99), from the American Museum of Pure Historical past. A trippy, limited-edition Ambar Del Moral tee ($35), from the Nationwide Museum of Girls within the Arts, within the light hue of Gray Poupon. Talking of that condiment, shirts don’t get a lot Dad-jokier than the Mustard Museum’s “Squeeze the Day, Carpe Dijon” ($20). A “Rock Em Rats” shirt ($28), from Meow Wolf, that’s simply stoner-y sufficient. One harking back to a Virgil Abloh sight gag ($34.95), from PAMM in Miami, that deconstructs the shirt itself as an object of want. This N.Y.C. schmatte ($24.95), from the Museum of the Metropolis of New York, may be the one Large Apple tee that retains a slight whiff of cool. A Tammy Wynette muscle tank ($60), from the Nation Music Corridor of Fame and Museum. A cheeky, candy-pink reminder from the comic-book artist Nicole Hollander that “Lust Makes You Stupid” ($32). A whimsical Charlie Hustle x Nelson-Atkins tee collab ($32). A New Bedford Whaling Museum shirt ($15), with a groany nautical pun. A banana-yellow Velvet Underground band tee ($25), from the Andy Warhol Museum. A cherry-red kid’s “Design Critic” tee ($20), for the tiny Ada Louise Huxtable in your life. A celebration of the stinkiest flower ($18.95), from the Huntington Library, Artwork Museum, and Botanical Gardens, and of pink orchids ($18), from the N.Y.B.G. And, for Nederlandophiles, a neon-blue shirt emblazoned with the quote “Life is like a croquette” ($33.93), from Paul Verhoeven’s 1980 movie, “Spetters,” from the Eye Filmmuseum in Amsterdam; because the museum itself admits, “you may’t get extra Dutch than this.”
Is a library a museum? Whilst you ponder that query, feast your eyes upon this cult-popular blanket that looks like a giant library card ($115). The blanket is bought out for the 12 months, however it can return in February, simply in time for snuggle season. For those who should snuggle up now, I’m smitten with this limited-edition Micaela Cianci throw ($135) that the artist made for the Nationwide Museum of Girls within the Arts.
Oh, Me? I’m Carrying the Louvre
You don’t should be Prue Leith from “The Nice British Bake Off” to get pleasure from a chunky necklace (although hers are iconic), nor do you want an excuse to start out dressing such as you blew your complete final paycheck on the Frick. For most of the most trendy individuals I do know, museums are a jeweller of selection and a secret trove of boxy jackets and mattress garments. If I might fill my closet with clothes from anybody museum retailer, I’d select the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, a paragon of considerate curation. The net store incorporates attractive items equivalent to this orange shibori dress ($259.70), from the designer Yadvi Agarwal, and this asymmetrical cotton top ($179.79). This cropped, quilted millefleur jacket ($219.75) seems recent as a daisy, whereas this hand-smocked blouse ($466.13), from the British designer Hannah Cawley, is giving pilgrim couture. The museum’s acrylic floral pins ($11.32 every) may make you consider in brooches once more, and this oversized tea-party necklace ($93.23) is delectably mad. This Rosalba Galati spike bracelet ($79.91) just isn’t solely hanging however can double as a self-defense software. These egg earrings ($33.29) are as ornate and twee as a Fabergé. There’s a spacey Bowie-homage pin ($46.61), a silk evening bag with tassels ($99.88) that smacks of the Gilded Age, and a canvas book bag ($133.18) that appears prefer it leapt out of “Brideshead Revisited.” You possibly can blow your complete funds on the V&A, however there are wearable finds throughout: this sparkly lariat ($328.61), from the Louvre, impressed by a rose in a Rubens portray. A rhinestone microphone ($12.99), from the Grand Ole Opry. A set of pajamas in “routemaster moquette” plaid ($79.94), from the London Transport Museum. A brass, Herman Melville-inspired cuff bracelet ($75). Probably the most charming terrazzo arch earrings ($143.95). This raspberry-flower dress ($70), from the Historic New Orleans Assortment, sourced from an vintage French Quarter sample. A Dusen Dusen robe ($132), from MOMA, that channels the fizzy glee of Pop artwork. A statement necklace made out of piano wire ($75), from the Weitzman Nationwide Museum of American Jewish Historical past. Edward Hopper “Railroad Sunset” pajamas ($190), from the Whitney. A traditional cherry-blossom yukata ($60), from Kyoto, through the Smithsonian. A throwback MA-1 jacket ($49.95), from the Museum of Flight. Chandelier earrings ($250) that appear like creamsicle jellyfish, from Cooper Hewitt, and blue chalcedony drops ($79) with an Undine Spragg aesthetic, from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, in Boston. An esoteric bucket hat ($25), from the Guggenheim. A jaunty beret ($20), from the Milwaukee Artwork Museum. A lacy white, Regency-era nightgown ($53.29), from the Jane Austen Centre. Skip the glut of Frida Kahlo-branded stuff and as an alternative go for these shuttlecock-esque tassel earrings ($60), from LACMA, that are based mostly on a pair that she truly wore. This brooch from a Flemish painting ($125) might or might not comprise the soul of a haunted heiress, whereas this pearl amulet ($40), impressed by an historical mummy portrait on the Getty, is equally fairly and creepy.