Thursday, September 16, 2010

Exit Through the Gift Shop

Louise Erhard Nature Bangles $112
Seen in LUCKY (Oct 2010)

Mama Bear was constantly shopping. We had a dedicated cupboard to store things bought as nondescript hostess or bridal shower presents as well as a huge under-the-bed cache of more targeted purchases, for specific nuclear family members. Much like other hereditary etiquette-based habits (ie: writing thank you notes and leaving legible phone messages) the gift cupboard has stuck with me. Even when flat broke, my present pile prevents me from swanning into someone else's home empty-handed. I am currently sitting on a collection of Company's Coming Cookbooks (everyone needs a little Jean Pare!), handknit hats and scarves, bottles of liquor and fancy-pants vases.

One of my favorite places to shop for cute everyman gifts is online, at various museum and gallery gift shops. International shipping is usually quite reasonable, and the gift's recipient gets the added warm fuzzy of having supported worthwhile arts and culture initiatives (it's like buying a star in someone's name or donating to a cause, only without their resentful feelings of being ripped off, left without tangible swag.) It's also possible to find truly meaningful, resonate items: Mr. Clean, a local builder and friend, had been desperate but unable to see a distant Frank Lloyd Wright exhibition. He was thrilled to receive the MOMA anthology of FLW's works. I even found a Lego-esque kit inspired by the architect's legacy fit for his two young sons. My best finds are usually something along those lines: books, kitschy homewares or quality kids toys. Check out some of the current offerings at MOMA and The Whitney.

Rock Out Organic Teether/Rattle $28

Magnetic Watering Can $68

Salt n Pepper

PS: If you haven't seen Exit Through the Gift Shop (a limited release film by legendary graffiti artist Banksy), please do.
Informative, interesting, incisive.

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