20 Gifts from New York City Museums
It's easy to overlook the museum gift shop, yet many have evolved into destinations for carefully curated, striking objects that you won't encounter at your local shopping mall.
Travel Poker Set, $30
Take your game on the road with a durable suede poker set that includes a deck of cards, 100 poker chips, poker instructions, and a spiral notebook for scorekeeping complete with a mini pencil. Metropolitan Museum of Art, metmuseum.org.
I Dig Velociraptor Kit, $35
The American Museum of Natural History, where Night at the Museum was filmed, wows visitors with its towering dinosaur skeletons (and a 94-foot-long blue whale suspended from the ceiling). An excavation kit filled with miniature replica dinosaur bones enclosed in a dust-free block lets kids channel their inner paleontologists. American Museum of Natural History, amnhshop.com.
Audubon's Aviary Recycled Banner Bag, $35
Each waterproof tote bag is made from an actual banner touting the New-York Historical Society's exhibition of watercolors by naturalist John James Audubon. The bags not only reuse materials, they also provide employment to local homeless people, who are trained to sew by the nonprofit organization Urban Samaritan. New-York Historical Society, nyhistory.org.
Coney Island Beach Towel, $36
The New York Transit Museum, located in a 1936 subway station in Brooklyn Heights, stocks this fun beach towel emblazoned with a retro Coney Island print. New York Transit Museum, transitmuseumstore.com.
Ahava Bookend, $39
The Jewish Museum offers a unique twist on Robert Indiana's iconic Love sculpture with a beautifully crafted steel bookend of the word ahava, which is Hebrew for "love." The Jewish Museum, jewishmuseum.org.
Melamine Diner Plates, $40
Four durable melamine plates—featuring interior shots of different diners—pay tribute to legendary diners and delis, like those of New York. International Center of Photography, icp.org.
Spectrum Photo Album Set, $45
Even in the digital age, there's no denying the allure and practicality of archiving photos in this colorful set of six clothbound photo albums. International Center of Photography, icp.org.
Guggenheim Teapot, $45
Frank Lloyd Wright's iconic design for the Guggenheim Museum also makes an elegant porcelain teapot. The tiered shape is an inverted ziggurat—a terraced pyramidal form used for temples in ancient Mesopotamia. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Guggenheim.org.
Tibetan Pierced Work Earrings, $50
Like much of the Met's jewelry, these intricate gold-plated earrings are modeled after a piece in the collection: a 15th-17th century Tibetan iron bridle. Metropolitan Museum of Art, met.org.