20 Museum Gifts from Around the World


You don't necessarily have to travel to find unique holiday gifts to please everyone on your list. We've combed some of the best museum gift shops across the U.S., as well as a few abroad, for thoughtful, useful presents that all come in under $50.

$25 and Under

HEMA Serving Tray, $6
The floral background on these durable melamine trays was inspired by a 17th-century still life; the bird-and-twig scene comes from a 17th-century Chinese vase on display at the Rijksmusuem in Amsterdam. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, rijksmuseum.nl.

Initial Seals, $10.50
A simple wax seal, created with a brass initial stamp like these from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, adds a personal, nostalgic touch to letters and invitations. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, gardnermuseum.org.

Indian Pattern Notecard Wallet, $11
Inspired by the V&A's vast collection of textiles and other items from the Indian subcontinent, these note cards have delicate floral designs from the 17th and 18th centuries. They come in a set of 10, with two postcards of each design. Victoria and Albert Museum, London, vandashop.com.

Marimekko Unikko Tea Towel, $12
Emblazoned with the most popular design from the Finnish textile company Marimekko, this towel is ready to give your kitchen a little flower power. Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, U.K., balticmill.com.

Walker Custom Pattern Planner, $12.95
This notebook's pattern was inspired by the Walker Art Center's recent expansion. The six-ring aluminum planner includes daily, weekly, and monthly calendars, note pages, and an address book. Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, walkerart.org.

Maple Small Plates, $16
These solid-maple platters are elegant but down-to-earth. Each has one of three nature-inspired designs: bamboo stalks, ginkgo leaves, or twigs. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco, famsf.org.

52 Travel Activity Set, $16.95
Take the stress out of long journeys with this kids' travel kit. The 52 different travel games, 10 postcards, markers, stickers, and a ruler will help delay cries of "Are we there yet?" TheField Museum, Chicago, fieldmuseum.org.

Swiss Spice Salt and Pepper, $17
Designed with travelers in mind, this humidity-proof salt and pepper shaker set brings clean, clump-free seasoning to meals from the Andes to the tropics. Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York, cooperhewittshop.org.

Ikimono 110 Film Camera, $19.95
This cute, pocket-size camera from Japan comes in four colors, each featuring a different cartoon animal. The cameras use 110 format film (a roll is included) that's perfect for giving a vintage look to shots. International Center of Photography, New York, icp.org.

Gorillapod Tripod, $25
Avoid blur with this flexible, on-the-go tripod, which can be wrapped around poles, railings, and other objects. It comes in two sizes—one for larger SLR cameras and one for point-and-shoots—and connects easily to your camera. Museum of Modern Art, New York, momastore.org.

$50 and Under

Semyonov Matryoshka Doll, $29.95
The Museum of Russian Art in Minneapolis celebrates the country's history and culture with gifts like this handcrafted seven-piece matryoshka nesting doll, a folk symbol of the Russian countryside. The Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis, tmora.org.

Solar Flashlight, $30
Bringing solar power to the masses, this waterproof flashlight runs on a photovoltaic panel and rechargeable batteries. Museum of Modern Art, New York, momastore.org.

Copper Gonder Scarf, $33.25
Proceeds from these beautiful cotton-rayon scarves, woven in Ethiopia and sold by the company Creative Women, promote women's economic independence in Africa. National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C., nmwa.org.

Recycled Wine Bottle Goblets, $38
The Brooklyn Museum's "Think Green!" products, which infuse style with ecofriendly design, include a set of bright-blue wine goblets made from recycled Bordeaux wine bottles. Cheers! Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, brooklynmuseum.org.

Castle Soft Sculpture Toy, $39
This soft, toddler-friendly renaissance fair in a box comes with detachable knights and horses; a queen, king, wizard, and dragon; and even a working drawbridge. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, mfashop.com.

Cargo Laptop Sleeves, $40
Made of durable, shock-absorbing neoprene, these laptop sleeves from Built NY come in three different sizes to fit most notebook computer models. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, sfmoma.org.

Bamboo Travel Set, $45
As more and more airlines cut back on amenities, it's smart to pack a personal blanket for those chilly long-haul flights. This soft, environmentally friendly bamboo blanket, which comes with a matching eye mask, makes for a much cozier trip. TheField Museum, Chicago, fieldmuseum.org.

Ringo Magazine Rack, $48
With four interlocking nickel-plated steel rings, this clever magazine rack crafted by London design firm Black & Bloom stylishly organizes books and magazines. The racks are on sale for $33.49 through the month of December. TheArt Institute of Chicago, Chicago, artinstituteshop.org.

Alarm Clock, $49
London's Design Museum has a knack for finding commonplace items that are also works of art. This alarm clock reflects the practical, pared-down style of its Danish designer, Jacob Jensen. Design Museum, London, designmuseumshop.com.

Silver Magnetic Vases, $49.95
Gift items made by Israeli artists for the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies include this set of five sleek mini vases. Each is held upright by a magnet hidden underneath the tablecloth. Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies, Chicago, bariff.org.

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