Gift Shop

Holiday Gift Guide 2017

10 museum-related gift ideas to jump start your holiday gift buying…

For: The Natural Historian

Geode Puzzles inspired by agate formations, and just like those colorful stones, each puzzle is unique.

Geode Puzzle by Nervous System.

For: The Foodie

If you have an adventurous cookbook collector on your gift list this year, consider the recently republished Les Diners de Gala, Salvador Dali’s surrealist cookbook. There’s a whole chapter devoted to aphrodisiacs, pages of the artist’s unusual drawings, and head-scratching recipes like “Toffee with Pine Cones.”

For: The Craft Lover

For a real splurge, spring for an intensive clay retreat at New Mexico’s Ghost Ranch, Georgia O’Keeffe’s former desert retreat. But, if you’re in the market for something less time and cost intensive, sign up for craft workshops at any number of museums like L.A.’s Craft and Folk Art Museum (recent offerings include a Clay Night at Angel City Brewery and a circular knitting class that sends you home with your own loom) or the Victoria & Albert Museum (Female Gaze photography, wood engraving).

Photo by jlgavino via Flickr.

For: The Music Lover

The V&A had quite the lineup of musical offerings in their galleries this year, with such diverse offerings as Opera (gift ideas: opera fan brooch or soprano socks) and Pink Floyd (illustrated exhibition catalog).

Soprano Socks from the V&A Shop.

For: The Fashionista

It was quite the year for fashion in museums, with shows dedicated to Dior, Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton, Rei Kawakubo, Anna Sui, Olivier Theyskens, and Dior again. And don’t forget the opening of the new Yves Saint-Laurent museums in Paris and Marrakech. There was even a charming exhibition of 1950s Vogue fashion illustrator Brian Stonehouse’s work. All this means that there is a wealth of beautiful exhibition catalogs to choose from, like this, this, and this. Or, there’s always the eminently practical How to Tie a Scarf.

One of the custom prints available from the Balenciaga exhibition.

For: The Kids

A museum visit goes a little sideways in this charming illustrated book, A Funny Thing Happened at the Museum. Also, MoMA always has cute gifts for kids, like New York in a Bag and Penguin Bowling.

For: The History Buff

As the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation kicking into high gear, there were no shortage of Reformation related exhibitions in 2017. So consider picking up a copy of the new Martin Luther biography from Eric Metaxas for a little perspective on the whole affair.

For: The Feminist

While art is just one of the areas covered in this collection of essays by Siri Hustvedt, A Woman Looking at Men Looking At Women is a thought-provoking look at “the perceptual and gender biases that affect how we judge art, literature, and the world in general.”

For: The Philanthropist

Today may be #GivingTuesday, but any day is a good day to donate to a museum or library, especially one in a city affected by hurricanes this year.

For: The Architect

This year, the Barbican presented a beautiful study of home design with The Japanese House: Architecture and Life After 1945. Check out related products here. In fact, the Barbican’s shop is full of architecture-related gifts, especially if your gift recipient is into Brutalism. Elsewhere, the V&A tackled Plywood, Copenhagen’s Louisiana Museum of Art went inside the studio of Wang Shu, and the world looked back at Frank Lloyd Wright (like MoMA, the Bowers Museum, and all over Chicago). Perhaps some Frank Lloyd Wright ornaments are in order? For something more indulgent, secure a spot on a Frank Lloyd Wright tour to Japan, Vienna, Paris, Brussels and beyond in 2018.

Photo of Beth Shalom Synagogue by Jay Reed via Flickr.