Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Museum Shopping

One of the best parts about living in DC is the sheer amount of, er, educational opportunities presented to us. And by that I mean musuems. DC is the HQ of Smithsonian, in addition to other privately-funded musuems--which means lots and lots of education, plus the special added benefit of every world-renowned museum/institution: the museum shop. Believe you me, Smithsonian offers some of the most awesome ones.

- First up, the Building Museum (duh). While the building that houses the Building Museum is gorgeous in and of itself, the location is a little hidden and the exhibitions are just so-so. But the shop is top notch! So many design items, including: Alvar Aalto vases, Taschen editions, Danish knick-knacks and Alessi functional art. It's all classic. You have to go in person though, the online shop is very empty.

- The Freer and Sackler Galleries. Not only do they constanty offer free movies that are both recent and amazing, they also sell stuff. My picks: great jewelry (for gifts and whatnot), Japanese incense (the best, nothing like the shitty hippy kind) and totally amazing original artwork and reproductions. I suggest going in person too...why would you pay shipping for something from your own town?

- The American Indian Museum. Online you can get some nice blankets, but the physical store in the museum is two levels and filled to the brim with awesome things. Lots of beaded jewelry, textiles and toys. Plus their cafeteria is so top-notch!

- And, of course, the Smithsonian institution has a shop that encompasses all its museums. Love pandas? Show it with a caftan! Need a new purse? How about one that is "Evocative of nostalgic handbags included in our domestic life collections, National Museum of American History, Behring Center?" (and is cute to boot).

So next time you're around the national mall and looking to escape the heat, peep into one of the museum stores. It's classy.


Mei Rose Galang said...

hey, I haven't tried that kind of shopping. it sounds interesting, talk about finding great and unique stuffs. cheers!

Kata said...

Glad to help!