I often write about the fantastic exhibitions and artworks being installed in the numerous museums of New York City, but rarely do I discuss a now-quintessential part of most arts institutions: the gift shop. Museum shops often carry wonderful trinkets to keep as a reminder of your visit, postcards, NYC memorabilia, and the most iconic paintings printed on everything from coffee cups to pencil cases. Most folks pass right through the gift shop without giving it a second look, but did you know that some museum shops carry works from local artists, independent publications, and more?
Here are a few fantastic museum shops located within some of NYC’s most prolific museums:
The Brooklyn Museum of Art Shop. New York Magazine says, “What began as a humble gift stand in the thirties has morphed into a spacious shop off the museum’s lobby. Find items by local designers and artisans, Brooklyn-themed souvenirs and textiles, prints, and other wares from around the world.” Indeed, if you find yourself at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, take a peek in the gift shop where you’ll find artisanal stationery, jewelry, prints, and many items crafted by Brooklyn artists.
The Whitney Museum of American Art Store. If you enjoy literature, art books, and American Art, you’ll easily get lost among the vast collection of texts in the Whitney Museum’s gift shop. The store carries frame-worthy posters of beloved works by artists like Edward Hopper, as well as books devoted to a diverse array of subjects including painting, photography, and culture. Another gift shop for art book lovers is the aptly named ARTBOOK at MoMA PS1, a shop full of NYC art-centric books and titles, as well as independent publications.
The Museum of the City of New York Shop. This store carries many gifts that are inspired by what visitors have seen in the museum, but is most valued for its collection of prints. New York Magazine raves “the real treasure is the museum’s unparalleled collection of images of New York, many of which are available as prints.” There is perhaps nothing more personal to take with you as a memento than a vintage photograph of the NYC skyline, or its colorful, bustling streets.
The next time you’re exploring one of these museums, be sure to peruse the gift shop before you leave!