Visit for the art—but stay for the retail. Merchandisers at four of the city’s top museums pick out their gift-shop faves.
You can take it with you: Museums like the Whitney (bottom left) and the Guggenheim (below center) are stocking their gift shops with art, such as (clockwise from below left) a Ryan McGinley beach towel, Stephen Shore’s The Nature of Photographs, the Francis mirror, and Gerald Murphy’s Cocktail tray.
Ryan McGinley Beach Towel
“Ryan McGinley, an artist featured in the Guggenheim’s permanent collection, designed this limited-edition beach towel ($95) featuring his vibrant photography exclusively for the museum. The towel is produced by Art Production Fund, an organization dedicated to producing ambitious public art projects and expanding awareness through contemporary art.” —Gigi Loizzo, director of retail at the Guggenheim Store. 1071 Fifth Ave., 212-423-3615
The Nature of Photographs by Stephen Shore
“In 1971, The Met had its first solo exhibition dedicated to a living photographer, and that artist was Stephen Shore. The Met started collecting photography in the late 1920s, even before MoMA [which started in 1930]. While indebted to the initial gifts by Alfred Stieglitz, our photography collection has grown to include Shore and many of the seminal artists he covers in this essential primer ($24.95), like William Eggleston, Walker Evans, and Lee Friedlander.” —Lauren Gallagher, book buyer at Phaidon x The Met Bookstore. 945 Madison Ave., 212-731-1648
“Parisian designer Constance Guisset created this mirror ($475) using high-tech digital printing to evoke the patina of time and memory as rendered in the beautiful watercolor markings. We were drawn to the combination of innovative production technique coupled with a poetic aesthetic—the back is slightly convex and suspends through its center, allowing the mirror to fall forward in the style of Venetian mirrors.”—Chay Costello, associate director of merchandising at MoMA Design Store. 44 W. 53rd St., 212-767-1050
Gerald Murphy Cocktail Tray
“During his short, seven-year career as an artist, Gerald Murphy produced only fourteen paintings. Key among them is Cocktail, a bold, stylized still life, which is currently on view in “Human Interest: Portraits from the Whitney’s Collection.” A faithful reproduction of the 1927 painting, this tray ($300), made exclusively for The Whitney, is the perfect backdrop for hors d’oeuvres, to accessorize your own bar, or as a catchall for keys and small knick-knacks.”—Lauri Freedman, retail product development manager at the Whitney Shop. 99 Gansevoort St., 212-570-3614