Holiday Gift Guide 2020: Artful Gifts at Every Price Point

December 2020


Holiday celebrations are unfolding differently this year, but not even a global pandemic can stop traditional gift giving — or the stress that accompanies finding the perfect present for a loved one. In hopes of making your search easier this year, we’ve scoured SFMOMA’s online store to find artful selections at every price point.

This guide reflects just a smattering of what’s available. In addition to a few whimsical picks, we’ve focused on gifts that have the potential to keep giving, whether through repeated use during shelter-in-place, the educational aims of the product, or the charitable efforts of its maker. In all cases, buying a gift from the museum store (at SFMOMA or another institution) provides support during a critical time for arts organizations; we are grateful for every purchase.

So, without further ado….might we recommend these items?

Artist-inspired socks ($12)

Are socks a cliched gift? Perhaps, but a snazzy pair is arguably more practical this year since we’re all cloistered at home. These ones are made of cozy combed cotton and inspired by artists such as Frida Kahlo, Yayoi Kusama, Andy Warhol, and Piet Mondrian.

Suzanne Lacy: We Are Here by SFMOMA ($14.98)

This illustrated catalogue sheds light on the groundbreaking career of Suzanne Lacy, an artist, writer, and educator whose socially engaged performances helped define social practice art. At a time when social practices more generally are on pause, this book might be a welcome read for the arts-inclined person on your list.

One Sketch A Day Journal ($15.95)

This charming keepsake sketchbook features spaces to draw each day for one year, helping your recipient capture impressions that might otherwise pass them by. An apt gift for diarists on your list who might want to create a visual record of 2021.

Wayne Thiebaud 500-Piece Jigsaw Puzzle ($17.95)

By focusing on ubiquitous 20th-century foods, Wayne Thiebaud updated the traditional still-life genre for the age of mass production and consumption. In this puzzle, sold exclusively by SFMOMA, you can try your hand at recreating one of his famous works. For the puzzle-inclined, there are many other varieties ranging in difficulty level.

Andrew Holder’s San Francisco Views ($19.95)

Featuring an original design by artist Andrew Holder, this onesie is an adorable way for young San Franciscans to show local pride at a time when it’s most needed. It is one of many items in the shop bearing this skyview of San Francisco — including adult-sized clothing, coffee mugs, and more.

Dawoud Bey: Two American Projects ($29.95)

Produced by SFMOMA as part of Dawoud Bey: An American Project, this catalogue includes an expansive selection of Bey’s urgent and necessary work, along with essays that investigate the photographer’s evocations of race, history, time, and place.

Incredibuilds Golden Gate Bridge ($24.50)

Budding artists and architects can build their own wood model of the Golden Gate Bridge. The kit includes a book featuring historical trivia, photographs, and lots of fun facts. (Note: If you’re looking for additional art-themed gifts for kids, we recommend heading directly to the online store; there, you can sort options by toy type. If you’re looking for San Francisco-themed gifts for people of all ages, we have a dedicated section for that, too.)

Moon Chalk Color: Set of 3 ($34)

With The Moon Chalk, designed by Nikolas Bentel, your recipient can push, pull, rotate, and roll on any chalk-friendly surface to create murals and sidewalk doodles. Bental’s goal with the kit was to create a geometrically precise drawing tool that would produce new and original patterns, and it has proven to be a popular selection.

Purple Nabis Scarf ($68)

Elsa Poux, who created the brand “Designed by Mapoésie”, combines ancient traditions and contemporary shapes with her own personal mythology to create gorgeous textiles. We’re partial to this purple Nabis scarf, one of many warm-weather accessories available at the store.

Arne Jacobsen: Bankers Black Alarm Clock ($139)

One of Denmark’s most prominent architects, Arne Jacobsen is internationally recognized for a functional aesthetic — one that extends to his collection of clocks and watches. Featuring a sloping black case, curved crystal, and feet of stainless steel, the clock is a timely classic.

Gillian Edevane

Gillian Edevane

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