Over the weekend we spent some time at LACMA since we were there to see the excellent James Turrell Retrospective. We wandered into new galleries we hadn’t been to, got to check out the connection between Matisse and Los Angeles, and finally ventured into the fascinating Pavillon for Japanese Art. We also had some unfortunate coffee at C+M (Wah waaah.) and decided to go into the gift shop since we hadn’t poked by there in years. While the store carries a lot of the normal “art museum gift shop” fare, there were a handful of “I want that!” things that reflected someone at LACMA being a bit creative with their curation of the gift shop. Thus, we have eight items from the LACMA Store for you to buy for yourself or gift–and none will break the bank, either.
Dr. Lakra’s Mutant Laboratory
Who for? That child that you want to get something artistic for but getting a pack of colored pencils is way too easy.
Why? With a contemporary aesthetic and monstrous focus, this Mutant Lab seemed like the only product for kids that wasn’t a cheesy artsy fartsy Summer camp item: this is something a kid could actually want and something that people like you and I would actually gift and feel proud of ourselves. The kit is part game, part character matching that comes by way of renowned Mexican artist Dr. Lakra. (Also, couldn’t find the item in the online store but you can get more information on it here.)
LACMA Connection? Tim Burton
Sister Corita Totes
Who for? The It Girl who needs to simplify herself.
Why? There are two Sister Corita totes and both are super simple and super high end that it could charm any fashion person who didn’t know they needed to add some artistry into their wardrobe. Corita’s work also represents an Angeleno artist who just wanted to make and whose work was full of love: how could these totes not charm someone?? (Couldn’t find this one online either but you can check out other Sister Corita items here.)
LACMA Connection? Shinique Smith Firsthand
House Industry’s Kokeshi Blocks
Who for? The intellectual, design-minded everyman.
Why? Anyone you know who loves design or “loves” design will love this little House Industry gift. It’s a playful Modern object that is a pleasure of both the real or wannabe design lover. If you’re a particularly good mood, this could be a good gift for that smart little baby you know too.
LACMA Connection? California Design & Japanese Painting
Colby Printings’ Accept The Good Print
Who for? The artistic Angeleno who wallows in nostalgia. Or a type lover.
Why? LA folk love things that show off the history of the city. Since Colby has sadly closed late last year, their goods will and likely are hot commodities. What does LACMA have for you? A less-than-twenty dollar Colby print for you to guiltlessly buy and add to your art collection. It also says the very zen, “ACCEPT THE GOOD.” on it too.
LACMA Connection? California Design
Ed Ruscha And Some Los Angeles Apartments
Who for? Any Angeleno currently in an apartment and with a vacancy on their coffee table.
Why? This glossed up version of Ed Ruscha’s photobook connects any apartment living Angeleno with the residential history we wish we could see in our living spaces. This also allows you to relishes in the glory of curious LA apartments, ones that Ruscha probably had a very intimate connection with in his younger years. It also serves as classic architecture porn and anti-porn, too. (See more on the book here.)
LACMA Connection? Peter Zumthor Reconsiders LACMA
Russel Wright Pottery
Cost? ~$20 to ~$70
Who for? The person who over-Heath’s his or her pantry.
Why? To add a little Art Deco wonderful panache to your day-to-day glass wear, Modern glass maker Russel Wright’s work has affordably been remade by Bauer Pottery. These works are so extravagant and understated and, with nothing over $75, you won’t feel guilty about adding or gifting a statement carafe to someone’s home.
LACMA Connection? California Design
Alexander Girard’s Mother & Child Trays
Who for? The cool mom with everything who wants to serve Summer lemonades with artistic style.
Why? There are lots of Girard works for sale at the store and lots are really expensive little bookshelf items. Under a table in the back we did find a beautiful, simple tray that could bring a modern touch to that homemaker or entertainer you know. It’s kind of sillily done as its a mother and child and the mother is topless but it’s one of those things that is both beautiful and functional.
LACMA Connection? Matisse: La Gerbe
Jean-Michel Basquiat Perfumed Candles
Who for? The person who “loves art” but needs to do their research (but you still love him or her).
Why? As shameful as it sounds, there are some Basquiat candles in the LACMA store. They smell good and are an easy bridge to extend out to non-art people, to expand the scope of what they like and to educate that products like this while pretty are absolutely ridiculous. Nevertheless, these candles are nice and their (abusively used) Basquiat designs are cool, too.
LACMA Connection? Ends And Exits