Tuesday, January 9
Museum store lovers know that great museum shops have the power to turn ordinary items into very special objects. The best art museum stores capture the magic of works of art and offer it up to us as unique products that convey creativity and beauty. The best museum stores allow us to give and to have items that both capture some of the best of human endeavor, and also to support the arts and arts education in our communities.
Museum store regulars know where to find amazing things that make either the perfect gift, or that expresses our own aesthetic. Fortunately there are many great museum stores. If you share our fascination with them, here is a list we created: five of the most unique museum stores in Europe and the United States.
Tate Modern, London England
A visit to Tate Modern’s gift shop is almost as impacting as a visit to the museum itself. The store is famous for its glass front door as well as the huge variety of amazing products you can find there. There are shelves full of books, postcards and prints in all sizes and styles. Tate Modern’s store also offers a great variety of products for kids and art-inspired home-ware - such as a reproduction Dali’s lobster telephone and Frieda Kahlo’s teacups. The Tate store highlight is its selection of the Tate’s vintage posters.
Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus Ohio
Columbus Museum of Art Museum Store is a special highlight to one of America’s best small museums. It’s housed in a high ceilinged, light filled space that makes shopping there as pleasant as viewing the museum’s beautiful collection and top notch special exhibitions. Columbus Museum’s store excels in its product curation. The variety of unique items that you’ll find there is truly inspiring; a wide range of handmade items, great reproductions from the collection, products that capture the most unique aspects of the Columbus collection and its beautiful building, as well creative toys that help kids develop their learning capacities. Click here to browse and buy from the Columbus Museum of Art’s Museum Store on ShopMuse.
Picasso Museum, Paris France
The Musee National Picasso-Paris has a space that is more of a concept store than a regular gift shop. The renowned museum architect Jean-Francois Bodin designed the space. His inspiration was Picasso’s life, work and studio. The store’s three rooms offer not just every kind of Picasso-related works - including artwork reproductions, cubist vases, toys, lamps and posters - but also display original objects by new designers.
Getty Center, Los Angeles California
The Getty Store has several locations throughout the Getty Center, all of which compliment the experience of viewing one of America’s best large museums. The Main Store is found just inside the Museum Entrance Hall and offers the widest offering of books, gifts, apparel, stationery, and jewelry, along with a selection of children's books and toys. The Main Store also features unusual items for the home, including hand-blown glass and sculptural reproductions. The Children's Shop in the West Pavilion provides a broader selection of books, art and activity kits, toys, games, and other fun, educational items that capture the Museum experience for children. The Center for Photographs Shop in the West Pavilion offers photography-related books and gifts, including frames, apparel, and specialty cameras. The West Pavilion Plaza Shop features the Getty’s most popular items in addition to a selection related to the Getty's changing exhibitions. The Exhibition Pavilion Shop also offers books and merchandise that complement special exhibitions.
Barbican Centre, London England
The Brutalist “Meca” has a gift shop that reflects its magnitude. The store is set in a comfortable space over two floors. There, you can find pretty much everything about brutalism - from books on the subject to amazing accessories inspired by the movement. For each new exhibition at the museum, the store introduces new products such as books, catalogues and artwork reproductions. As part of its great best-seller collections, the Barbican’s museum store also has a full selection of art-inspired home ware and accessories.
ShopMuse Social Media, and this Article, are created by Felipe Luiz Tiradentes dos Santos of The Hague, Netherlands.
This image shows the light-filled museum store at the Columbus Museum of Art