The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s (SFMOMA) MuseumStore is the premier destination for holiday shopping. Drawing on the finest local talent as well as top international designers, the MuseumStore offers a wide selection of the best in contemporary jewelry, furniture, housewares, and children’s toys, in addition to boasting the Bay Area’s most comprehensive collection of art and design books. From items priced less than $10 to limited-edition pieces for up to $1,000, the selection provides myriad gift possibilities to delight both the giver and the receiver.
Following are highlights of holiday gift items for 2006.
The Drosselmeyer Nut Cracker ($40, available in black and red), designed by Joakim Norin and Erik von Schoultz, makes the perfect host or hostess gift. Inspired by the magical toymaker from Tchaikovsky’s ballet, this stylish and highly functional tool is the first to turn the often frustrating task of nut cracking into a simple, graceful maneuver.
Espresso lovers and teetotalers alike will rejoice in the sleek, orb-like creations of Freud, a design house based in the United Kingdom. Made of stainless steel, the four-cup stovetop espresso maker ($100), tea pot ($90), sugar ball ($32), and creamer ball ($32) make great gifts individually or as a suite.
Incorporating new technology with age-old material, the TO:CA LED clock ($185) displays the time in LED light that emanates through a natural grain, hard-maple wood block. Designed by Kouji Iwasaki of Japan, the TO:CA clock is certain to please modern design enthusiasts on your list. Bestowing the gift of the Lumen pine tree oil lamp ($50) will surely cast the giver in the best light; placed on a shelf or mantle and lit with a match, the stainless steel oil lamp functions as an atmospheric shadow projector. A detailed silhouette of a pine tree mounted near the flame casts a shadow on the wall, and, as the flame flickers, the pine tree shadow moves about as if stirred by the wind.
For a particularly special one-of-a-kind gift, the MuseumStore offers the exquisite Kotori Sake Set ($295), which includes an ecru -glazed porcelain and oak pitcher with four porcelain cups presented on an oak platter. Handcrafted in Finland, the sake set is a MuseumStore exclusive. Another high-end gift idea for a loved one with discerning taste is the Mistic Silver Vase/Candleholder ($470). Designed by Arik Levy, the Mistic Silver, with its intertwining tubes of titanium-painted boras silicate glass, evidences the perfect marriage of modern material and organic form.
Jewelry and Accessories
The MuseumStore offers a stunning assortment of jewelry sure to make a statement at even the most stylish seasonal gatherings. Selections include Bay Area designer Emiko-o’s playful creations ($45–$130), which incorporate materials as unexpected as plastic LEGO® bricks, sterling silver, and rhinestones, and Sandra di Giacinto’s necklaces ($135), origami-inspired textural delights crafted out of rainbow-hued coated paper—plus a host of other classic and whimsical designs from around the world.
In the children’s area, the MuseumStore features the Brio set of 100 wood building blocks ($45, ages 2 and up) in bold, contemporary colors and imaginative shapes, certain to inspire endless possibilities for your favorite future architect. For kids who have trouble waking up to an ordinary alarm clock, the MuseumStore features a digital alarm clock available in the form of a pig, a cow, and a bear ($12 each, ages 3 and up). With their poseable limbs and expressive faces, the clocks are too fun for snoozing.
Another children’s gift as practical as it is entertaining is the Little Miss Piggy Dynamo Flashlight ($18, ages 4 and up). The flashlight is in the shape of a little pig, the nostrils of which are fitted with two bright LED bulbs that recharge within a few seconds of squeezing. With no need for batteries or bulb replacements—ever—the flashlight is great for kids of all ages to keep on hand in the event of an emergency. The wooden Zolo pull toy ($40) is painted in bright colors and fun patterns and has an attached leash for pulling. Available in three quirky personalities—Scoot, Buggy, and Ozlo—that can be linked together, the toys will willingly go everywhere the little tikes take them.
Books often make the best gifts of all, and the MuseumStore has an extraordinary array of new selections. The monograph Cindy Sherman (Rizzoli, $75) provides a comprehensive review of the artist’s complete works, organized in a roughly chronological path beginning with her earliest photographs from the 1970s. Published in conjunction with an internationally touring exhibition, the book features essays by Carole-Anne Tyler, Régis Durand, and Jean-Pierre Criqui. Collecting Contemporary by Adam Linderman (Taschen, $29.99) should be on the required reading list for all appreciators and/or aspiring collectors of contemporary art. With contributions from the world’s leading critics, curators, dealers, auction house experts, and collectors, this insiders’ guide will teach the reader everything there is to know about the contemporary art market.
Written by three architectural journalists, Architects Today (Chronicle Books, $19.95) breaks down the usual arcane architectural categorizations to offer insight and introduction to the world’s greatest and most provocative contemporary architects. With two fully illustrated pages for each architect, a clear and lively design, and an alphabetical organization, this important volume functions as an essential reference source for both the professional and novice alike.
The MuseumStore also carries many imaginative new titles to engage the younger mind, including Where Is Jasper Johns? by Debra Pearlman (Prestel, $14.95), which takes children on a journey of discovery through a selection of artworks by Johns and the artists who have inspired him. By searching for places where Johns has hidden himself in his work, young readers are introduced to the work of this unique American artist in a highly original and imaginative way—and they discover new ways of looking at visual art.
Revenue from SFMOMA’s MuseumStore supports the Museum’s renowned exhibitions and educational programs. The MuseumStore has two locations: at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 151 Third Street, and at the departure level in the SFO International Terminal. For more information, call the MuseumStore at 415.357.4035 or visit www.sfmoma.org. Many items are also available for purchase online at www.sfmoma.org.