Saturday, 26 March 2011

Art and Shopping

A little while back Jg at Fatscribe (I do think he's rather unkind to himself) posted about his favourite museums.  I was astonished to realise I've not visited any of them.  I agree about museums being wonderful places.  Bill and I have spent many happy hours wandering around gawking at things.  But I have a guilty secret to confess:  I'm really a sucker for the little shops in those places.  They have such wonderful, odd things that I never see anywhere else.  Garden centres are another great place to find gifts (except that I tend to make most of mine).

So, I decided to go shopping for you - to some of Jg's favourites and to some of mine.  Since I've long ago let my PayPal account die and my credit cards are downstairs, I feel relatively safe...


The Metropolitan in New York  (admission $20)   

The shop.  Where you can find flash drives with personality.  (A note about the design:  I would choose one that allowed me to hang on to the flash drive, not just the cap.  My preference is for all-in-one with a retractable feature).  

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (admission $15).   

The LACMA shop.  Hmmm.  Personally, I think they need to work on their shop a bit.  I did come up with an umbrella, though.  Who can't use an umbrella?  OK, maybe not if you live in the dessert.

The Guggenheim in Manhattan  (admission $15).  

I'm not much into modern stuff, but given the extraordinary building that houses this museum I might make an exception.  You may or may not remember back in June when we were in Venice I said:

We did not visit the Peggy Guggenheim museum, neither of us being major fans of Modern Art.  

That said, Bill laughed when I 'interpreted' this piece to be
"... one definition of an Italian man's happiness:  a chair and a packet of fags..."

Never mind, what is in the Guggenheim shop?   Well, I did find this Kandinsky tie, the design from 1926.  

Something about this photo concerning the history of the museum 

(dated 1937) and the - you'll laugh - the font style of the name Guggenheim intrigues me.  If we ever make it to New York I may have to add this to the list of what to do.

OK.  Now my turn:

The Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle.  (admission: FREE). OK, not anywhere near the same scale, but it's my local.  

Their shop, which doesn't list even half of the lovely things there; I swear there are at least a dozen different kinds of notebook, never mind the different covers on each style.  However, I did dig around (and their website's not broken, you just have to scroll all the way down to the bottom) and found this leather lap top carrier in lime.   Not a colour I would purchase, but it coordinates with the blog decor.

Next stop, Alnwick Garden, Alnwick England (That's pronounced AN-ik - no 'l', no 'w', don't ask me why; one is not supposed to drop one's aitches, but double-Us disappear all the time around here).  
(Admission to garden £11; to castle £13; to garden and castle £22).  

This garden development was the brain wave of Jane Percy, Duchess of Northumberland.  I've been once or twice, but never when the garden was in full bloom (we've always had great timing that way).  We should go there sometime this summer, shouldn't we? (How do they always have the sun shining in those photos?  V. suspicious, that.)  Sadly, they don't seem to have an online shop.  It must be 'too common' or something.  However, I can tell you they specialise in very posh garden accessories.  

So, where next?  Oh, I know...
Victoria & Albert Museum, London.  (admission FREE).  

The V&A is a museum of decorative art, meaning they collect the beautiful things we all live with in our homes or wear (as if).  I could happily spend the rest of my life in the V&A, particularly in the museum of fashion or of textiles.  One of my wishes for my next life would be to live in London - I think it would have to be Pimlico, as I really don't think I could otherwise cope with the population density - and to work at the V&A.   Being associated with the V&A is about the only reason I would subject myself to living in London.

Now they understand shopping.  I decided not to hang about and tempt myself, but grabbed this Diaghilev Ballet Russes tote for only £9 to show you and got out of there!  Whew!

Well, I hope you enjoyed our little shopping excursion.  We may have to get together and to it again sometime!

1 comment:

Pauline Wiles said...

I always feel so uncultured, but the truth is, I am far more interested in the shop and cafe at a museum, than the actual exhibits. Same with National Trust houses...
Love the things you showed here - I like that green laptop bag especially.