Museum Treats

Museum Treats

I'm not going to lie.  Before I acquired enough brain cells to understand the point of going around museums and galleries, the bit I looked forward to the most was the gift shop.  If I wasn't allowed to snap away on my Fisher Price camera, at least let me buy a cheap keyring or novelty pen to take home as a momento of yet another visit to the bloody tank museum (dad has an unhealthy obsession with tanks that was usually met with bawling moans from disgruntled me and a weak smile from mum). 

Of course, museum and gallery shops have moved on from rainbow printed rubbers that don't actually erase anything and poor selections of postcards.  The selection of items that go into the stores are heavy with curation much like the exhibitions themselves.  I've expressed my love of the shops like the V&A in the past but now a bigger beast has risen.  Culture Label is an amalgamation of gift stores from over 60 cultural institutions… the list is pretty comprehensive… V&A, Tate, ICA, Royal Academy of Art, Natural History Musuem, Imperial War Museum etc etc as well as smaller places like Whitechapel Gallery, The Vinyl Factory… with more to come as it only launched quite recently. 

I did a bit of initial scouring and I've got gifts sorted for a few people as well as coming out with a fair number of fashion-related goodies…and in some case, oddities.

Let's talk about these Anne Boleyn pants for instance, that were apparently created for a Betty Jackson show last year.  I might have to scrap my knickers as outerwear rule for these.  Or perhaps Tudor devotee Wendy Brandes would like to do the honour.  Worn over rights with a backless leotard under a sheer black trench/jacket and some big chunky boots?  Ok, that might have been the hypnotic sway of bewitching Boleyn talking…



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  1. Helen

    2009-07-29 at 9:57 PM

    what a great website. i do still always look forward to visiting the shop after a visit to the museum though…

  2. Ali

    2009-07-29 at 10:13 PM

    Heh, my boyfriend loves the shop bit best. He’ll appreciate this.

  3. Lululabella

    2009-07-29 at 10:21 PM

    those dress for dinner napkins are amazing!

  4. Sab

    2009-07-29 at 10:33 PM

    hey, I¬¥m from czech republic & i love your blog! and…may i tell you something? …i think you look like you were from some japanese horror 😉 (i mean it nice)

  5. pearl westwood

    2009-07-29 at 11:35 PM

    Oh I am so tempted by the pants and napkins – to be worn together of course 😉
    There is nothing more exciting than a museum gift shop!

  6. Jennifer

    2009-07-30 at 1:23 AM

    I love the little Make Do and Mend book, so cute and it probably has quite a few helpful tips as well!

  7. Prêt-à-Porter P

    2009-07-30 at 3:18 AM

    that flying helmut is pretty cool.

  8. diane

    2009-07-30 at 4:50 AM

    The dress for dinner napkins are a riot. I love shopping in museum gift stores. Sometimes they have great jewelry reproductions.

  9. Stella

    2009-07-30 at 5:33 AM

    Oh no, why do you do this! As if I wasn’t feeling bad enough paying conference fees in GBP (you heard that? that was the sound of my wallet dying), now you show these awesome trinkets!

  10. serg riva

    2009-07-30 at 5:48 AM

    that’s funny. nice post

  11. Sister Wolf

    2009-07-30 at 6:45 AM

    (Don’t listen to Sab!) I’m betting WendyB will flip for those pants. She can flash them at Mr. B.

  12. Lilisfashion

    2009-07-30 at 6:52 AM

    Oouh, I love it. Love the museum shops and all the odd(useless) things. I was at the V&A yeaterday. Love the atmosphere.

  13. junepaski

    2009-07-30 at 7:03 AM

    i love it, i would have all those things

  14. Nicole

    2009-07-30 at 8:00 AM

    I love the glasses. Unfortunately things sold in gift shop are always much mor expencive as they would be in a ‘normal’ store. That’s actually why I don’t buy them.

  15. jess

    2009-07-30 at 8:40 AM

    As a lover of art museums and galleries, thank you for this post! Art museums are getting awfully creative these days… True, things sold in gift shops are always more expensive, but when you’re getting into museums for free (in the UK particularly) its nice to pay them back/help them out a little bit with these purchases rather than a hefty entrance fee.

  16. MJ

    2009-07-30 at 9:25 AM

    That Matthew Williamson deckchair! God, these are so much cooler than the stuff in the York Railway Museum, which is my father’s THING…

  17. Birthday gift bags

    2009-07-30 at 9:43 AM

    Helmet, Glasses and Bags are the so cute and suitable price.
    I love all of products.

  18. dust

    2009-07-30 at 9:52 AM

    I’ve never went to museum shops ( stupid principles ) and now I see what I have missed!

  19. ellio100

    2009-07-30 at 10:45 AM

    ah, it’s a shame the skull-tipped pencils for sale at the Museum of London don’t make the site, they’re amazing.

  20. Natty

    2009-07-30 at 12:36 PM

    Great! Some Anne Boleyn pants to go with my Henry VIII T-Shirt. Wonderful!

  21. Chelsea

    2009-07-30 at 12:49 PM

    Oh how cool! Really good conept, love the little trinkets you can get in gift stores 🙂

  22. h

    2009-07-30 at 2:01 PM

    You’re spot on about those rainbow rubbers.. thought that was really funny.

  23. suzanne of mommy drinks style

    2009-07-30 at 3:41 PM

    Love this post! And love your blog! That sheepskin flying helmet is great. Your have always such delicious posts!
    Today I did an interview with the stylist Daniela Jung. She’s so hip, and has worked with such great fashion talents! Hope you stop by to read and enjoy:
    THANKS! Suzanne

  24. Laurrren

    2009-07-30 at 4:25 PM

    HAHA! SO true bout those damn rubbers!! the pencil sharpeners weren’t much better either…

  25. Eline

    2009-07-30 at 4:45 PM

    Yesss, I love the gift shops in London! Mostly I venture round the book section but my last trip to London I finally noticed the cute goods! One day I’ll have the money (after all the book spending) to buy something at the Tate Modern… One day… sigh.

  26. Lucy

    2009-07-30 at 5:43 PM

    LOVE this! Museums always carry the most interesting merchandise. Going to art museums is always a joy… seeing the art pieces AND visiting the charming little gift shops. 🙂 Tank museums aren’t exactly my thing either. actually i’ve never been to one so maybe they are my thing. i hope not -_-

  27. ana

    2009-07-30 at 5:56 PM

    I want these glasses badly!

  28. Meream

    2009-07-30 at 7:11 PM

    Susie, what is a tank museum? 😀

  29. Merry P

    2009-07-30 at 7:16 PM

    I’ve had that Tate bag for three or four years and LOVE it dearly – if I’m going anywhere, it’s coming with me!
    Also very chuffed because I bought it on sale for only ¬£25 and it was such a spectacularly fantastic buy! 🙂


    2009-07-30 at 8:01 PM

    I love the pillowcases and the broach! Great finds!! Those dinner napkins are too too funny.

  31. Lady Julianne

    2009-07-30 at 9:26 PM

    I appreciate museums and galleries for intellectual purposes but I still think the gift shop is the best bit! I have no shame! But then the V&A shop has such great stuff, and the Tate is a world of cuteness too. Sometimes I pop into the Tate Modern just to look around the shop and buy a badge!

  32. Heather

    2009-07-31 at 1:07 AM

    I have had the Make Do and Mend book from the Imperial War Museum for a couple of years now and it is wonderful. I love it so much. It always makes me smile when I see it on my shelf. A lot of gift shop merchandise seems overpriced, but £4.99 is a Bargain!

  33. KateEgg

    2009-07-31 at 1:41 PM

    I have just bought the coasters which when put together make a map of Newcastle, tee hee! x

  34. Aja

    2009-08-01 at 9:56 PM

    I love buying little knick knacks from museums too. My friend once designed some merchandise for Baltic. I was super proud. I want those Je t’aime pillow cases. Bad.

  35. susie_bubble

    2009-08-02 at 5:47 PM

    Meream: I’m not sure whether that’s a rhetorical question…! Well err….a tank museum is basically a war museum…. but filled with just err… tanks used by armies… big green things with giant wheels…. god, that’s the worse definition ever!

  36. Becca

    2009-08-03 at 9:27 PM

    this post is too great. i really love the boleyn pants and the glasses on a chain. Too fun!

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