HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Prices and availability subject to change. For those of us looking for some culture, you can shop at these best art museum shops online. (Photo: Murika via Getty Images)
Even if your legs are tired from a tour, your eyes need a break from all those paintings and your phone’s out of storage, you probably just
have to see the gift shop before leaving a museum.
While museum gift shops have the usual T-shirts and mugs with logos, they also are a gold mine for one-of-a-kind gifts that you can’t find anywhere else.
Right now, you might be missing going to museums as most of them across the country and around the world have
closed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. UNESCO estimates that 90% of museums globally have shut their doors.
Since many museums rely on donations and entrance fees, places like the
Tenement Museum in New York City have struggled to stay afloat in recent months.
It’s especially important to support museums now in whatever way you can — whether that includes taking an online tour like the
Metropolitan Museum of Art offers, getting an annual membership to somewhere like the Museum of Modern Art, or, of course, spending money with a museum’s gift store.
If you didn’t know, there are a lot of museums that have online gift stores now that you can shop at while staying on your couch — and get some good quarantine birthday gift ideas for adults, while you’re at it.
Smithsonian Store to the Art Institute of Chicago Museum’s shop, we found the best museum gift shops online for things like home decor, jewelry and gift ideas. Check out these museum gift shops that you can shop online: The Met Store While you might know about the Met Gala (and always wonder what everyone will be wearing), you might not know that the Metropolitan Museum of Art has its own online store. It's where you can shop for products, publications (like books and collection catalogs), and gifts that are inspired by what's inside the museum. You'll find everything from this set of column bookends, Tiffany stained glass magnets that'll feel fancy on your fridge, and mugs with Van Gogh's irises. All the purchases help support The Met's conservation efforts. Check out The Met Store. The Smithsonian Store The name's a little bit of a misnomer: n is actually a number of museums that are mostly based in Washington, D.C., including the National Museum of Natural History and National Zoo. The Smithsonia Most products in the Smithsonian Store are reproductions or remodels of artifacts and archives that can be found in the museums. The profits from the store go back directly to exhibitions and public programs for the museums. Our favorite finds in the store include this book of the history of America through objects, ceramic travel mug with a traditional Acoma Pueblo parrot and this Beatles' sock set. Check out the Smithsonian Store. The Tenement Museum Shop The Tenement Museum has been around since 1988 on New York City's Lower East Side. It spotlights the " uniquely American story of immigration. " The museum offers tours of two tenement buildings, where different immigrant families lived until the '30s. Recently, the museum has faced lots of budget cuts due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Orders from the Tenement Museum's gift shop help support the museum, and you'll find things like this tea towel that features now-classic New York foods, MetroCard playing cards, a Greek diner ceramic mug and this banned books match set. Check out the Tenement Museum Shop. The Getty Store The Getty really includes both the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa, which is housed in the Pacific Palisades. The goal of the Getty is to conserve "the world’s artistic legacy." The Getty Store even has its own section of "Getty Exclusives," where you'll spot items like a standing desk mobile in bright colors, a beaded brown-eyed brooch, and all the painting postcards you could imagine at the online gift shop. Check out the Getty Store. The MCA Store Founded in 1967, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago includes "the work of emerging artists" and experimental art. The MCA Store features pieces from designers and artists that buyers from the museum specifically pick out. You'll see things like a Venus bust vase that was made in Greece, a swan-shaped ladle for soups, and a fingers-crossed pin . Check out the MCA Store. The MoMA Design Store The New York City-based Museum of Modern Art has a collection of more than 200,000 works. That's a lot of art. Plus, the MoMA has its own online gift shop with proceeds going to its educational programs. The MoMA Design Store is particularly focused on design, filled with all sorts of one-of-a-kind objects like this kit-cat clock that rolls its eyes, a primary-colored panel vase and self-watering terracotta pots. Check out the MoMA Design Store. The PAMM Shop The Pérez Art Museum Miami, or PAMM for short, collects modern and international art. The museum highlights "Miami’s diverse community and pivotal geographic location at the crossroads of the Americas." You'll definitely want to see what's hiding in the museum's gift shop, also called the PAMM Shop. There, you'll find this "Por Favor, Do Not Touch The Art" T-shirt, a tote bag that's inspired by the captions you read at the museum and kitsch flamingo patch. Check out the PAMM Shop. The MOCA Store The Los-Angeles based Museum of Contemporary Art been around since 1979 and was founded by artists themselves, collecting modern art from around the world. Every purchase made at the MOCA Store goes back to the museum. You'll find unique home products hiding in the online store, including this abstract expression mobile, a puzzle that's coming up roses and a handy tray that'll hold your jewelry. Check out the MOCA Store. The Autry Store The Autry Museum of the American West features exhibits and galleries about the American West and is " filled with Native American art and cultural materials," according to the museum's website. The museum's gift shop, called the Autry Store, includes Western and Native American objects, along with pieces from local artists. You'll find this classic bandana, puzzle about the history of hairdos and Virginia Woolf notecard set at the store. Check out the Autry Store. The Whitney Shop The Whitney Museum of American Art, which is based in New York City, has — you guessed it — art from lots of contemporary American artists, with a focus on living artists. The museum's Whitney Shop has all kinds of prints, posters, apparel and home items. The products in the shop are designed by artists and creators. You can even send in ideas for products to the Whitney Shop. The products we're checking out? This colorful Lotería market bag, playful grape earrings and bandana that features New York landmarks. Check out the Whitney Shop. The Art Institute of Chicago Museum Shop It's one of the oldest museums on our list. The Art Institute of Chicago Museum Shop's been around since 1879, founded as both a museum and art school. Fun fact: This museum was featured in " Ferris Bueller's Day Off." The Art Institute of Chicago Museum Shop is filled with all sorts of products that would make perfect presents (and win you brownie points for being original). We're eyeing these lavender spoons, this doormat that's inspired by one of Frank Lloyd Wright's designs and this "American Gothic" puzzle. Check out the Art Institute of Chicago Museum Shop. The Philadelphia Museum of Art Store Of course, we had to highlight the City of Brotherly Love: Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Museum of Art has works from artists like Auguste Rodin and Claude Monet with a collection that's "the pride of Philadelphia." And well, duh, we had to see the museum's online store for ourselves, after all. We've spotted gems like this Philly deck of tarot cards, "Thinker" trapped in a snow globe and a full-color-spectrum chalk set. Check out the Philadelphia Museum of Art Store. The SAM Shop The Seattle Art Museum focuses on " visual arts in the Pacific Northwest." It includes the Asian Art Museum and Olympic Sculpture Park, too. The SAM Shop is all about objects made by local artists, including home decor and jewelry. What are we eyeing? This crocheted cactus, a cross-stitch clock kit and gradient puzzles. Check out the SAM Shop.
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