Once upon a time, the museum gift shop was a simple concept, offering posters, books and the like.
Then the MoMA Design Store was born, and everything changed. You can still find items that complement the museum’s exhibits, but these stand-alone boutiques also offer well-curated home design pieces; serious jewelry; colorful, futuristic-looking kitchen gadgets; and lots more. 44 W. 53rd St., New York; 212.767.1050; 81 Spring St., New York; 646.613.1367
The New-York Historical Society Museum Store is a find for the visitor who wants to bring home a slice of NYC. You’ll find books about New York and, this month, to coincide with “Campaigning for the Presidency, 1960-1972” (thru. Nov. 27), there are American flag blankets, campaign buttons, and stuffed donkeys and elephants. 170 Central Park W., New York; 212.485.9203
Arguably the city’s most prestigious museum has a museum shop to match. The Met Store at the Metropolitan Museum of Art has Asian and Egyptian jewelry; porcelain, ceramic and glass sculpture; textiles, stationery and printed reproductions of the Met‘s massive collection. 1000 Fifth Ave., New York; 888.543.1685
The Whitney Museum Shop has a pretty boutique with plenty of tempting items, from Carol Bove gold and magenta silk twill scarves to Jeff Koons coffee mugs that entertain you while sipping your java. 99 Gansevoort St., New York; 212.570.3614
The Guggenheim Museum Store, which has, as one customer noted, “the rounded Guggenheim signature skylight in mini form,” also carries decorative items, wooden dolls and lush coffee-table books. 1071 Fifth Ave., New York; 212.423.3615