HOLIDAY 2020 Museum Shopping

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

ONE of the surprising things to come out of 2020 is the realization that the arts and cultural institutions of our cities are far more important to our health and well-being than we knew. Tuning in to museums’ and arts centers’ online lectures, concerts, interviews, teaching sessions for kids and adults helped a lot of us get through lockdown, try new things, and expand our knowledge of the world. Now it’s time to say thank you and one of the best ways to do that is by making a purchase at a museum shop or becoming a member of our favorite art or cultural institutions. We’ve made an informal list of some of NYC’s smaller arts institutions, highlighting their best items in books, clothing, kid-friendly products, and jewelry. Want to give more? We’ve also included membership links for these museums, and you can also scroll down to the end of our list to see places that don’t have online stores but still need your help. And don’t forget, membership as a gift or for yourself is partially or even fully deductible come tax time (see each museum for details).

Exterior photo by Gavin Ashworth, courtesy of the American Folk Art Museum

American Museum of Folk Art (2 Lincoln Square, Columbus Avenue and 66th Street)

THIS gem of a museum shop reflects the mission of the museum with an outstanding collection of unusual and engaging products. Many items on offer are handmade or one-of-a-kind, ensuring an exclusivity that any New Yorker will love.

Books:

Clothes and accessories:

Jewelry:

Kids:

Favorite item: Mustard Duo Sheep Pillow

To give an American Folk Art Museum membership, click here

Curbside (Store) Pickup: No

Mail Delivery: UPS Ground

Asia Society (Park Avenue and 70th Street)

THE Asia Society is a multi-faceted cultural institution, using lectures, arts performances, exhibitions, and symposia to educate the public on the many countries in Asia and Southeast Asia. The museum shop is as inclusive as the institution, with a particularly strong book section as well as many handmade items from artisans of these regions.

Books:

Treasures of Asian Art: The Asia Society Museum Collection

The Spirit of Indian Painting: Close Encounters with 101 Great Works

Philippine Ancestral Gold

After Darkness: Southeast Asian Art in the Wake of History

Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White

Clothes and accessories:

Face Masks in silk (various colors)

Scarf Cylinder by Harshita Lohia, various colors

Brocade Ecstasy Necktie by Satya Paul

Jewelry:

Bracelets Sari: Bright by Rosena Sami

Seven Chakra Pendant Necklace by Mousumi Shaw for Sikara

Pearl and Agate Three Color Earrings by Kai-Yin Lo

Onyx and Howlite Adjustable Ring by Mamta and Vidhi Gupta

Kids:

Tokyo Pop-Up Book

Geometric Origami Mini-Kit

Language Blocks in Japanese, Persian, and Vietnamese

Terracotta Warrior Excavation Kit-Kneeling

Skateboard Deck: Samurai Sword

Favorite item: Origami Love Notes

To give an Asia Society membership, click here

Curbside (Store) Pickup: No

Mail Delivery: USPS Ground or USPS Next Day

Brooklyn Museum, NYC

Brooklyn Museum (200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn)

ONE of NYC’s most interesting exhibition spaces, the Brooklyn Museum also has a fine permanent collection ranging from Ancient Egypt to American modern art. The museum store has a good balance of inclusivity and unusual items, perfect for gift giving.

Books:

Brooklyn Museum Art Book Starter Bundle

Muse: Mickalene Thomas

Edge of Arabia

Dandy Lion: The Black Dandy and Street Style

Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960-1985

Clothes and accessories:

Graphic Studio 54 Set T-Shirt in Black

Jeffrey Gibson LOVE Hoodie

Dindga McCannon Scarf

Xu Bing Brooklyn Tote

Jewelry:

Warrior Watch by Basquiat

MC Bronze Ring Pistillini 08

Taxi Cab Pendant

Kids:

Balancing Blocks White by FORT STANDARD

OVOV Puzzle

Stacking Bunny Toy

Imagination Book by Nick Cave

Favorite item: The Market at Brooklyn Museum (pop-up marketplace & website)

To give a Brooklyn Museum membership, click here

Curbside (Store) Pickup: No

Mail Delivery: UPS, Priority Mail

Poster, WilliWear, ca. 1987; Designed by M & Co. (New York, New York, 1979–1992), For WilliWear Limited (New York, New York, 1976–1990); Lithograph on paper; 104.1 × 71.1 cm (41 × 28 in.); Gift of Tibor Kalman/ M & Co., 1993-151-143

Cooper Hewitt Design Museum (Fifth Avenue and 91st Street)

THIS branch of the Smithsonian is the only museum in the US exclusively dedicated to historical and contemporary design, featuring exhibits on a wide range of subjects. The museum store is equally comprehensive, with a smart selection of books and objects for every age group, whatever their interests.

Books:

Willi Smith: Street Couture

The Elements of a Home

David Adjaye Works

Pet-tecture: Design for Pets

Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Design

Clothes and accessories:

OAD x CW Pencils Collab Tote

The Modern, Heritage Silk Hijab

Waste No More Eyeglass Case

Kuusikossa Tote Bag

Jewelry:

Milton Glaser Presto Watch

Fracture Ring

Solar Eclipse Earrings Turmeric

Meiosis Bracelet Saffron

Loop Long Necklace

Kids:

Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture

How to Read a Dress: A Guide to Changing Fashion from the 16th to the 20th Century

Design Critic T-Shirt

Reusable Paper (and these recommended markers & chalks to use on the paper)

Sacred Geometry DIY Kit: Star of David, Cube Octahedron, and Snowflakes

Favorite item: Finnish Snowball

To give a Cooper Hewitt membership, click here

Curbside (Store) Pickup: No

Mail Delivery: FedEx

Garden Court, The Frick Collection. Photo by Tiplister on Unsplash

The Frick Collection (opens early 2021 at Madison Avenue and 75th Street)

THE Frick Collection is closed right now, but the online store has a good collection of items that highlight the treasures of this elegant museum on the Upper East Side.  

Books:

The Sleeve Should Be Illegal & Other Reflections on Art at the Frick (ships in January 2021)

Frick Diptych Series: Holbein’s Sir Thomas More

In A New Light: Giovanni Bellini’s St Francis in the Desert

Leighton’s Flaming June

The Frick Collection Director’s Choice

Collecting Spanish Art: Spain’s Golden Age and America’s Gilded Age

Old Masters, New World

Clothes and accessories:

Comtesse Tote Bag

Genoese Noblewoman Scarf

Market Tote

Favorite item(s): Child’s Pedal Car (modelled on a 1930s roadster)

To give a Frick membership, click here

Curbside (Store) Pickup: No

Mail Delivery: FedEx Home, FedEx 2nd Day, FedEx Priority Overnight

The Jewish Museum, 2014. Photo: Will Ragozzino/SocialShutterbug.com

The Jewish Museum (Fifth Avenue and 92nd Street)

THIS museum’s focus on art and Jewish culture from ancient times to the present has been part of NYC’s arts scene since 1904, educating visitors about the complex and fascinating world of Judaism through texts and objects. Every item is selected with care, making this feel more like a boutique shop than a museum store.

Judaica:

Walnut Challah Board by Selby & Co

Enamel Hamsa Tallit Clips

Electric Menorah or Hanuka 21 Menorah by EightDays Design Group: Lime

‘How to Play Dreidel’ Dreidel

Books:

The Woman Who Fought an Empire: Sarah Aaronsohn and Her Nili Spy Ring

The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life

Defiance

The Jews of Harlem: The Rise, Decline, and Revival of a Jewish Community

Kehinde Wiley The World Stage: Israel

Clothes and accessories:

Deborah Kass OY/YO Unisex Tee

Russ & Daughters Hat

A Suprematist Tale of Two Squares by Anya Marokko

Maira Kalman Socks

Lawrence Weiner No Tree No Branch Tote

Jewelry:

Deborah Kass OY/YO Cufflinks

Sterling Star of David Necklace

Hamsa Necklace by Emily Rosenfeld

One-of-a-kind Hand-Painted Folk Art Bracelets by Joan Shaver

Bagel Ring by Kickie Chudikova

Kids:

Portraits of Jewish-American Heroes book

Where the Wild Things Are (in Hebrew) book

Make Your Own Beeswax Hannukah Candles Kit

Don’t Mess With My Mishpocha button (other button slogans here)

Anni Albers Jewelry Kits: bracelets in red or brown, necklace with bobby pins

Favorite item: Helena Rubenstein Nail Wraps

To give a Jewish Museum membership, click here

Curbside (Store) Pickup: Yes

Order preparation: 2 to 4 days, email notification when ready

Mail Delivery: UPS Ground, 3 Day, Next Day

Museum of Arts and Design. 2016 Photo by Gustav Liliequist Courtesy Museum of Arts and Design

Museum of Art and Design (Columbus Circle and 59th Street)

THIS museum, conveniently located at Columbus Circle (and the intersection of five trains and five bus lines,) presents exhibitions on modern and contemporary design with a special emphasis on the makers themselves. Their annual curated show, MAD About Jewelry, features contemporary designers from around the world selling their innovative designs via the shop website, instead of the usual in-person arrangement. Be advised that each jeweler’s country has different COVID-19 policies regarding essential services, meaning that international mail service to the USA is slower than normal. If your purchase from this show is a gift, you may need to tell your recipient there will be a delay.

Books:

Global Africa Project

Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting

The 10 Book: What’s on Your Top 10 List

Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature’s Most Memorable Meals

Brian Clarke: The Art of Light catalog

Clothes and accessories:

Brian Clarke T-Shirt in Manhattan, Night Orchid, or Punk

Foldable Backpack

Pippa Bag

Filigree Leather Bag

Three-ply Cotton Masks

Home Design:

Siberian Larkspur Sola Cube

Leather Origami Horse or Kangaroo

Boracay Bowl

Small Treasure Box

Jewelry:

Chunky Coral Nugget Necklace by Catherine Canino

Honeycomb Bella Necklace by Fairchild Baldwin

Saw It Through Necklace by Joan Hornig

Kids:

Line Chalk Drawer

The Storymatic Kids Game

Color Me New York coloring book

Favorite item: Graphite Quill

To give a MAD membership, click here

Curbside (Store) Pickup: No

Mail Delivery: FedEx Ground, USPS Priority Mail

The Morgan Library, Photo by Susan Yin on Unsplash

The Morgan Library and Museum (Madison Avenue and 36th Street)

HOUSED in the J. Pierpont Morgan mansion, this museum and research center is world famous for its collection of manuscripts, books, medieval objects, and contemporary artworks. The museum shop represents all these interests with style and flair, making this one of midtown’s shopping treasures.

Books:

Betye Saar: Call and Response or Betye Saar: Still Tickin; Catalog

David Hockney: Drawing from Life

Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts: Twelve Journeys into the Medieval World

The Brontë’s: A Family Writes

 A Christmas Carol: The Original Manuscript Edition

Clothes and accessories:

Morgan Library Umbrella

Women’s ‘Jane Austen’ Socks

The Gashlycrumb Tinies Tote Bag

Jewelry:

Isle of Lewis King Cufflinks

Royal Egyptian Clip Earrings

Cypriot Shield Earrings

Mesopotamian Blue Triangle Necklace

Gallo-Roman Frog Earrings

Kids:

Corduroy Enamel Pin

The Little Prince Baby/Toddler Sock 4-pack

La Petite Danseuse Earrings

A Walk In New York book

Bibliophile with Cats 100 Piece Puzzle

Favorite item(s): Pink Panther Crank Music Box

To give a Morgan Library and Museum membership, click here

Curbside (Store) Pickup: No

Mail Delivery: UPS Ground only. For faster mail options, call 212-590-0390

Museum of the City of New York

Museum of the City of New York (Fifth Avenue and 103rd Street)

MCNY has been the go-to place to take a deep dive into NYC history and artifacts since 1923, with its collections of theater memorabilia, period rooms and unusual exhibits attracting thousands of visitors each year. The museum store is a treasure, featuring something for everyone on your list.

Books:                                                                              

Native New Yorkers

Broadway: A History of New York City in Thirteen Miles

City of Sedition: The History of New York City During the Civil War

Queens of the Resistance: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

MCNY’s current exhibit catalogs Activist New York: A History of People, Protest, and Politics and City/Game: Basketball In New York

Clothes and accessories:

Starlight Tote Bag

Cartier Boxer Tee

Jackie Robinson Frame Tee

NYC Bridges Scarf

RFID Smartphone Wallet

Jewelry:

Space Between Earrings

Pewter Crumple Paper Collar

NYC Charm Bracelet

Sneaker Earrings

Ebbets Field, Mets or Yankees Stadium Cuff Links

Kids:

Jackie Robinson Preschool Player Tee

Kids Map Tee

Small Water Tower Model Kit

Mini Color Roll NYC (and a version for Hannukah too)

Jigsaw puzzles from 100 to 1000 pieces (we just love the Mini NY Puzzle: Santa & Cousins)

Favorite item: Santa Climbing Chrysler Building Ornament

To give a MCNY membership, click here.

Curbside (Store) Pickup: Yes

Order preparation: 2 to 4 days, email notification when ready

Mail Delivery: USPS or UPS shipping options

Neue Galerie New York

Neue Galerie New York (Fifth Avenue and 86th Street)

WITH a focus on early 20th century art and design from Germany and Austria, the Neue Galerie is a unique museum in the NYC cultural landscape. Shopping at this museum store is like a mini trip to Kurfürstendamm in Berlin or Kaerntner Strasse in Vienna but without the hassle of a plane trip.

Books:

Vienna 1900: Birth of Modernism

The Lady in Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt’s Masterpiece

Anni and Josef Albers: Equal and Unequal

The Bauhaus and America: First Contacts 1919-1936

Neue Cuisine: The Elegant Tastes of Vienna

Clothes and accessories:

Madeline Weinrib Opium Ikat Kimono

Fleur de Vienne Boutonnière

Cafe Cane Walking Stick

Vienna 1900 Tote

Han Feng Hund Coat for dogs

Jewelry:

Normalzeit Wrist Watch

Golden Trio of glass bead bracelets

Sassy Bird Pendant/Brooch

De Vera Vally Earrings

Hoffman Cufflinks for Gustav Klimt

Kids:

The Neverending Story book

Coloring Books on Gustav Klimt, Wassily Kandinsky and other subjects

Facemaker Block Set

Favorite item: Golden Thread of Life sewing kit

To give a Neue Galerie membership, click here

Curbside (Store) Pickup: Yes, BUT before placing an order call the bookstore at 212-994-9492 (or 212-628-6200 ext. 492) or the design store at 212-994-9496 (or 212-628-6200 ext. 496) for more information on pickup times

Order preparation: 2 to 4 days, email notification when ready

Mail Delivery: FedEx Ground

New-York Historical Society

New-York Historical Society (Central Park West and 77th Street)

The New-York Historical Society is like NYC’s ultimate storage facility, with documents, art, and ephemera documenting anything and everything that has passed through the five boroughs. Their museum store reflects this eclectic mix of interests with a huge variety of items for every price range.

Books:

American Founders: How People of African Descent Established Freedom in the New World

Gilded Suffragettes: The New York Socialites who Fought for Women’s Right to Vote

Ten Times Chai: 180 Orthodox Synagogues of New York City

Honeybee Hotel: The Waldorf Astoria’s Rooftop Garden and the Heart of NYC

How We Live Now: Scenes from the Pandemic

Clothes and accessories:

Eloise Venetian Masked Ball Silk Scarf

Durham Feather Bow-Tie

Jimi Hendrix Axis Bold T-Shirt

Haring New York Folding Tote Bag

Louis C Tiffany Wisteria Rain Cape

Jewelry:

New York City Subway Token Watch

Piano Wire bracelets, earrings, & necklaces

Concrete jewelry by Dconstruct (bracelets, earrings, & necklaces)

Romantic Alexander Hamilton Necklace

Red Spotted Purple Butterfly Brooch Pin

Kids:

New York Map Baby Blanket

Tricorn Hat

Maritcha: A Nineteenth-Century American Girl book

HistoryMakers ornaments

Staten Island Ferry boat

Favorite item(s): 27 different items referencing Ruth Bader Ginsberg

To give a NYHS membership, click here

Curbside (Store) Pickup: Yes

Order preparation: 2 to 4 days, email notification when ready Mail Delivery: FedEx Ground, USPS Priority Mail

‘Alphonse Mucha: Art Nouveau/Nouvelle Femme’ exhibition photo by Stephanie Powell Courtesy Poster House

Poster House (23rd Street near Sixth Avenue)

POSTER House is NYC’s newest museum and the only one in the US dedicated to poster history and design from around the world. The store’s special strengths include original 20th century posters for sale and some excellent catalogs explaining the history of this near universal art form.

Posters:

Women In Design Poster by Lora Appleton

Poster by Manuel Miranda

Visit Dante’s Inferno Poster by Pushpin Studio

If You Keep Women Out They Get Resentful Poster

New York Is About New York, 1967 by Milton Glaser

Books:

Iron Fists: Branding the 20th Century Totalitarian State

Becoming a Design Entrepreneur: How to Launch Your Design-Driven Ventures from Apps to Zines

Design Is Storytelling

100 Years of Swiss Graphic Design

The New China – New Year Pictures

Clothes and accessories:

Get Rich Sock from Chop Suey Club

Fists Up Combined Exhibition Tote Bag

Alphonse Mucha Medée T-Shirt

Jewelry:

Balance Bar Necklace by Ladies and Gentlemen Studios

Ideal Beauty Bolo Tie by Georganne Deen Acme

Kisiwa Large Rangi Hoop Earrings

NU:RO Watch in Black or White

Kids:

Listen! Listen! picture book

Pepin Paper Craft Art Deco Book

Tiger Baby Red Newborn Shoes

Favorite item: Simplicissimus Pin

To give a Poster House membership, click here

Curbside (Store) Pickup: No

Mail Delivery: USPS but for express shipping rates contact shop@posterhouse.org

Unisphere, Flushing Meadows, Corona Park

Queens Museum (Flushing Meadows, Corona Park)

THE Queens Museum has been working hard during 2020 to engage their local community with arts programs tailored to a population that skews younger and is very much in touch with their multicultural roots. Their store touches on these interests as well as the institution’s past for a seamless narrative of the borough’s history.

Books:

The World Eats Here: Amazing Food and the Inspiring People Who Make It at New York’s Queens Night Market

America Is Immigrants

13 Most Wanted Men: Andy Warhol and the 1964 World’s Fair

Clothes and accessories:

Bookish Cats Reusable Shopping Bag

Campus Backpack in Orange or Artic Blue

Kids:

Brilliant Maps for Curious Minds book

Archidoodle: An Architect’s Activity Book

Medical Bunny Vinyl Sticker

Favorite item: Ümlaut Brooklyn’s Cool Magnet

To give a Queens Museum membership, click here

Curbside (Store) Pickup: Yes

Mail Delivery: FedEx Ground, USPS Priority Mail

USHNISHAVIJAYA
(Tibet, 15th century. Gilt copper alloy with inlays of semiprecious stones and pigment, 10 3/4 × 8 1/2 × 5 5/8 in. Rubin Museum of Art)

The Rubin Museum of Art (17th Street, near 7th Avenue)

AT The Rubin, art, culture, history and religion of the Himalayas is the focus. As one of New York’s youngest museums, they understand the value a museum store brings to their mission to promote learning and understanding of this complicated and fascinating region.

Books:

Black & Buddhist (preorder available, to be released 12/8/20)

The Handbook of Tibetan Buddhist Symbols

Patterns of India

Mudras: Yoga in Your Hand

How To Meditate: A Practical Guide

Clothes and accessories:

Sulak Flower Blue Cotton Robe

Himalayan Mystic Mask

Fish Shawl

Blue Bird Canvas Tote

Jewelry:

Gone to Seed Bracelet

Turquois Nepalese Bead Necklace

Lace Earrings

Pearl Fringe Hoops

Pansy Brooch

Kids:

Life of the Buddha book

Little Book of Hindu Deities

Chinese Zodiac Animals book

Audio Pets Bluetooth speaker

Favorite item: Wool Tiger Rug

To give a Rubin Museum membership, click here

Curbside (Store) Pickup: Yes (call 844-289-0473 for more information) Mail Delivery: UPS

Tenement Museum

Tenement Museum (103 Orchard Street)

THIS museum may be one of the smallest on our list, but its mission is enormous: to tell the American story through the lives of its immigrant community here in New York City. Their shop compliments this work through a fascinating selection of books and objects that chronicle the experiences of these future citizens.

Books:

97 Orchard Street: An Edible History of Five Families in One New York Tenement

Sewing Women: Immigrants and the New York City Garment Industry

Bengali Harlem and the Lost Histories of South Asian America

Jewish New York: The Remarkable Story of a City and a People

Were You Always an Italian?: Ancestors and Other Icons of Italian America

Clothes and accessories:

Denim Lower East Side Tote Bag (also in white canvas)

Mr. Fix-It Men’s Socks

Gold NYC Crossbody Bag

Jewelry:

Steam Heat Radiator Pin

Mahjong Tile Jewelry

Water Tower Pin

Working Brass Telescope Necklace

Kids:

Westie Loves Liberty Mug

Wooden Chinese Chequers

First Generation: 36 Trailblazing Immigrants and Refugees That Make America Great book

Memoroni: Pizza Memory Game

Ridley’s Classic Flashing Plastic Yo-Yo Toy with Extra String and Trick Guide

Favorite item: Tea Leaf Reading Kit

To give a Tenement Museum membership, click here

Curbside (Store) Pickup: Yes, Friday through Sunday from 11 am – 3 pm

Order preparation: 2 to 4 days, email notification when ready

Mail Delivery: USPS Priority Mail

New York City Skyline, Photo by Mari Small on Unsplash

Museums and cultural centers that don’t have online stores (or only have limited products) but do sell memberships:

Bronx Museum of the Arts

Museo del Barrio

Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA)

Museum of Food and Drink (MoFAD) (and a limited online shop is here)

Japan Society

Merchant’s House Museum

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden

The Noguchi Museum

The Skyscraper Museum

The Studio Museum in Harlem