Art Gift Guides 2020

The holiday season is upon us once again and if you’re like us, I’m sure you’re scrambling to figure out what to get everyone on your list. This year has been hard enough already, so we hope to make it a little easier by creating these art-themed gift guides!

We are also dedicating ourselves to supporting small businesses and museums this year! All the gifts included in this guide support small businesses, creators, and museums!

  • Art History Stickers ($2.50-$4)
  • Brief History of Art Mug ($15.95)
    • This mug is perfect for fueling your student’s caffeine addiction as they study for final exams or stay up all night finishing that final paper.
  • “Men to Avoid in Art and Life” by Nicole Tersigni ($14.95)
    • The title seems pretty self-explanatory. Art Historians love art history memes and this book brings paintings to life with situations of which most of us are familiar. Mansplainer, we’re coming for you.
  • “Baroque Art Student” Patch ($10.00)
    • If it ain’t Baroque, don’t fix it. Although your poor students are very “baroque”…Maybe gift this patch along with some cash.
  • Great Women Artists ($59.95)
    • This book has been on our personal wishlists since it came out, covering over 400 women artists over 500 years and from more than 50 countries! This is a hefty book, but makes a beautiful and informative addition to the burgeoning feminist art historian’s collection.
  • Annual Museum Membership (Varies)
    • An annual membership is perfect for your art scholar who loves nothing more than wandering the hallow halls of their favorite museum! Check out the memberships to your local museums, especially as many museums have struggled this year due to the pandemic. Not sure if you can choose just one? Consider getting a membership with reciprocal access to other museums, such as the North American Reciprocal Museum program.
  • “Unicorn in Captivity” Tote Bag ($35.00)
    • Tote bags never really go out of style and they are perfect for scholarly trips to the library or quick stops to the grocery store! This beautiful tote bag includes a detail from the iconic “The Unicorn Rests in the Garden” tapestry located at the Met Cloisters!
  • “Artemisia Gentileschi and Feminism in the Early Modern Period” by Dr. Mary D. Garrard ($22.50)
    • This new book from well-known feminist scholar Dr. Garrard places Artemisia Gentileschi in the context of the Feminism in the 16th and 17th centuries. Connecting Gentileschi to female writers of the period, Garrard discusses newly discovered paintings and new research on this groundbreaking artist. We’ve been dying to get out hands on this book, so do your feminist scholar a favor and buy it for them!
  • “Black Africans in Renaissance Europe” by T.F. Earle and K.J.P. Lowe ($33.11)
    • While most discussions of Renaissance art and Europe focuses on white figures, this book examines the presence of the Black Africans throughout Europe through history, anthropology, literature, and art history to understand their experience and the important role they played during the Early Modern period.
  • Letters to Isabella Stewart Gardner by Henry James ($9.62)
    • Well-known novelist Henry James, perhaps best known for his novel “The Turning of the Screw,” was fascinated by art-collector Isabella Stewart Gardner. These letters from James to Isabella Stewart Gardner reveal not only more about the infamous art collector and her Venetian-Inspired-Palazzo-Turned-Museum, but also James and his love for Venice and the Palazzo Barbaro.
  • “Girl with the Pearl Earring” T-Shirt ($23.67)
    • This beautiful shirt puts a spin on Vermeer’s classic painting, “Girl with the Pearl Earring,” making it trendy and the perfect pairing with jeans and heels.
  • “Pandemic Mona Lisa” Face Mask ($9.99)
    • Face masks have become a staple of the 2020 closet and fun masks to match every outfit is just what every fashionista needs.
  • “Art Museum” Earrings ($30.00)
    • Earrings make even the simplest outfit more chic and these framed painting earrings make anyone into a walking museum.
  • “Renaissance Art Altered” Print ($4.80)
    • A fashionista needs a home to match her style and this print is an excellent addition to the art-lover’s home! Pair with a gorgeous gold frame and you’ve got a modern masterpiece.
  • Art History Socks ($7.00)
    • Show off your love for art from your head to your toes with these adorable art history socks, featuring works by artists from Michelangelo to Van Gogh.
  • Roman Column Candle ($6.00)
    • What is a trendy home without plenty of candles? This Roman Column shaped candle is an adorable addition to any space and perfect for decorating your artsy home!
  • Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs ($60.00)
    • This catalogue for the Museum of Modern Art’s 2014 exhibition highlights the works made by Henri Matisse during the last decade of his life. The vibrant collages of paper are richly illustrated in this beautiful catalogue that any art lover will be proud to display!
  • ArtCurious: Stories of the Unexpected, Slightly Odd, and Strangely Wonderful in Art History by Jennifer Dasel ($17.00)
    • Based on the hit podcast, ArtCurious, Dasel offers an exciting glimpse into the most fascinating stories of the world’s most famous artists and masterpieces. Filled with humorous stories and riveting tales of mystery and disaster, this book is a must for every Art Book Lover!
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Masterpiece Paintings ($75.00)
    • Every art lover and museum goer will love this stunning book filled with the Met’s most iconic works of art. Perfect for displaying on your coffee table or flipping through for an at-home visit to the Met, this book will be a hit with everyone.
  • The Brutish Museum: The Benin Bronzes, Colonial Violence and Cultural Restitution by Dan Hicks ($13.50)
    • If you’re looking for something more political and at the core of many museum conversations today, check out this book from Dan Hicks, a professor of Contemporary Archeology at Oxford. Hicks’ book delves into the hot topic of restitution and repatriation (returning objects to their place of origin), focusing on the Benin Bronzes, thousands of objects which were stolen from Benin City, Nigeria during a British naval attack. These objects have remained in England, displayed in the British Museum, ever since. Hicks calls for western museums to acknowledge the colonial blood on their hands.
  • Short Life in a Strange World by Toby Ferris ($32.50)
    • Turning towards a more personal take on art, Ferris’ book follows his journey to view every surviving painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder in the wake of his father’s death and his own entrance into fatherhood. Through his journey through Europe and his analysis of Bruegel’s work, Ferris provides us with a poetic look at life, death, and everything in-between.

There are so many more amazing gifts that support smaller businesses, makers, and museums! If you still need some inspiration, check out:

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