This holiday season fill your stockings and surround your trees with gifts from museums across the Western US!
As many museums across the United States still recover from extended closures, staff layoffs, and a decrease in attendance due to the ongoing pandemic, the revenue generated by museum stores is more important than ever before. Proceeds from museum stores financially support the missions, programming, exhibitions, and staff of these valued institutions.
So, if your favorite local museum has opened its doors, now is the perfect time to wonder back in and show your support by purchasing some holiday gifts (virtually too). Plus, with all of us holiday shoppers worrying about inventory shortages and shipping delays, shopping locally is the simpler, stress-free way to go.
What's more, is on Sunday, November 28, 2021, you can participate in the 5th annual Museum Store Sunday! During this year's holiday shopping event, more than 1,700 Museum Stores representing all fifty states, 24 countries, and five continents will be offering a relaxing, inspired shopping experience – usually with some discounts too. Although it's hosted only once a year, Museum Store Sunday encourages everyone to be a museum store patron all year long. Find a participating museum store here, or find an online store to visit here.
Aside from Museum Store Sunday, there are plenty of amazing museum stores to shop in (almost) any day of the week. To help you find that perfect gift for that special someone, we've gathered ten of our favorite museum gift ideas and a festive list of many additional wonderful museum stores across the Western US!
WMA's 2021 Holiday Gift Guide
Now Boarding 1000 Piece Puzzle
This space-themed puzzle from Seattle's The Museum of Flight, features an original New Yorker Cover by Artist Luke Pearson, originally published on April 22nd, 2013. When put together, it's 1,000 pieces depict a group of travelers waiting in an intergalactic space terminal for their journey into space. This is the perfect gift to add to anyone's collection and is just one of many puzzles found in The Museum of Flight Store.
$20 – Purchase Here
Shop other gifts online from The Museum of Flight Store
Butterfly Biodegradable Phone Case
Phone cases are perfect stocking stuffers. This unique case features butterflies from The San Diego Natural History Museum's research collection, representing different species that have no geographic connection, but illustrate the incredible variety of life within one color palette. The Museum’s entomology collection has over 1 million insects and arachnids, including a variety of species of the Lepidoptera, an order of insects that includes butterflies and moths.
This biodegradable phone case was made with zero plastic, but rather PLA plant polymer with a bamboo binder. The material won’t add to the landfill and becomes biodegradable in just 160 days. It comes in several sizes, suitable for iPhone and Samsung Galaxy.
$20 – Purchase Here
Shop other gifts online from TheNat Museum Store
Goose Grease Modern Artists II
There's most certainly something fun and colorful for every art lover at The Nevada Museum of Art. Between all the books, fun socks, and home decor, we stumbled upon the wooden peg dolls, Goose Grease Modern Artists II. Hand-chiseled from Urapán wood by Columbian artists, this set includes artistic representations of Mark Rothko, Kusama, Georgia O'Keefe, and Jackson Pollock.
$40 – Purchase Here
Shop other gifts online from The Nevada Museum of Art Store
A JOURNEY INTO 365 DAYS OF BLACK HISTORY 2022 WALL CALENDAR
The Anchorage Museum in Anchorage, Alaska, and you stop in the Museum Store, you'll find everything from Alaska Native Art and Wellness products to jewelry and design. One item that we just love is the A Journey into 365 Days of Black History 2022 Wall Calendar. Featured are 12 exemplary trailblazers who have contributed their brilliance to enhance the human experience across a wide range of disciplines, including medicine, science, law, journalism, education, sports, and activism. A brief biography accompanies the image of each figure, birthdays of other notable people are presented with the months, and milestones in Black history mark the days of the year.
$15 – Purchase Here
Shop other gifts online from the Anchorage Museum Store
Get comfy and curl up with a gorgeous succulent throw pillow from Sunnyland's Center and Gardens! Hand-made in Berkeley, California, these pillows start out as a photograph of a living succulent that is then printed on fabric. There are four different succulent designs to select from and each measure approximately 15” in diameter.
$79 – Purchase Here
Shop other gifts online from Sunnyland's gift shop
You Are on Native Land Pin
We have many gift recommendations from the Autry Museum's online store. But one of our favorites this year is the 'You Are On Native Land' pin. Designed by Urban Native Era – a Los Angeles-based brand that specializes in clothing design and content to increase the visibility of Indigenous people – the design of this pin is meant to remind people that we are all on Indigenous Land. It is also available in rainbow color.
$13 – Purchase Here
Shop more gifts online from the Autry Store
Pegasus Wooden Automata Kit
If you're looking for science experiments, tinkering kits, and crafts, San Francisco's The Exploratorium has the perfect gift shop for you. One of our favorite items is the wooden Pegasus ARToy Moving Kit. This Curious Contraptions-inspired automata is made from precision-cut, high-quality recyclable pinewood and can be assembled in just an easy three-step process. Designed by British artist Keith Newstead, this kit is a combination of whimsy, science, and the art of automata. It's perfect for kids!
$30 – Purchase Here
Shop other gifts online from The Exploratorium's Store
ʻŌlelo Noʻeau: Hawaiian Proverbs & Poetical Sayings
The Bishop Museum in Honolulu, Hawai'i, welcomes its visitors to the Bishop Museum Press – a store filled with books, notecards, prints, and anthropology reports. Among its collection of hardcovers is the ʻŌlelo Noʻeau: Hawaiian Proverbs & Poetical Sayings from author, teacher, lecturer, translator, and collector of historic Hawaiian materials, Mary Pukui. This book offers an opportunity to savor the wisdom, poetic beauty, and earthy humor of Hawai'i's finely crafted expressions. The spoken word is considered to be the highest form of cultural expression in old Hawai'i, bringing readers closer to the everyday thoughts and lives of the Hawaiians who created these sayings.
$50 – Purchase Here
Shop other gifts online from the Bishop Museum Press
MULTI STRIPED BANGLES SET
Aside from gifts for the usual art-lover, the Portland Art Museum has an online shop filled with gifts on topics of photography, civic engagement, Pride, International Women Day, and of course Portland. One of our favorites is this set of five gold and rainbow bangles. The bangles are artfully handmade and distributed by a certified Fairtrade company based out of India, that proudly partners with women’s groups, minorities, people with special needs, urban slums, and isolated rural communities to empower artisans through dignified employment.
$11 – Purchase Here
Shop other gifts online from the Portland Art Museum Store
Montana's Charlie Russell
The museum store at Scottsdale's Museum of the West has a great collection of books featuring artists from across the American West. In the pages of Montana’s Charlie Russell, the Montana Historical Society offers you its collection of Charlie Russell art. Each of the 230 artworks has been painstakingly photographed using state-of-the-art equipment to show off the masterful details of Russell’s brushwork. It's perfect for any coffee table.
$80 – Purchase Here
Shop other products from the SMoW Online Museum Store
Other Online Museum Stores
Most museums have stores on-site. However, not all offer an online shopping experience. For those of you who would like to shop at a museum far away or even out of state, here's a list of a few online museum stores that we enjoy browsing through.
Seattle Asian Art Museum – Seattle, WA
Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site – Long Beach, CA
Iolani Palace – Honolulu, Hawaii
San Diego Museum of Art – San Diego, CA
The Broad – Los Angeles, CA
Phoenix Art Museum – Phoenix, AZ
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art – San Francisco, CA
USS Midway Museum – San Diego, CA
Los Angeles County Museum of Art – Los Angeles, CA
Seattle Art Museum – Seattle, WA
de Young / Legion of Honor (FAMSF) – San Francisco, CA
Heard Museum Store – Phoenix, AZ
Whether you're shopping in-person on Museum Store Sunday, or looking through museum stores online, your purchases will go a long way in supporting any and all types of cultural institutions. Please let us know if you have an online museum store you'd like to add to our list! Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.