Toys, trinkets, and gifts oh my! Museum shops are the most enchanting (and ridiculous) places on earth -- for all the reasons you might think. The art world has had its fair share of criticism from the public about its extravagance, subliminality and exorbitance, for good reason. By the time you pay your way into the Whitney, wander around the Biennial in a stupefied haze and enjoyed an impressive, but uncalled for, $20 bowl of rigatoni, you will have spent half your week’s salary and been thrust into an existential crisis that just won’t let up -- all for the sake of art. But, this isn’t an attempt to chastise these establishments. To one end, the uncultured visitor may think paying $30 for a ballpoint pen that’s airbrushed with a museum’s logo as a little crazy, but, what one has to remember is the fact that museums thrive and survive on funding. Most of the cost of items found in the gift shops benefit the establishments directly -- and that’s something I’m sure a lot of people can understand. As an artist, I’ve grown to embrace all facets of the art world’s peculiarities and even indulge in the (occasional) purchase of overpriced museum shop items. Here’s (another) list of some of the most pricey items found in museum gift stores.
Check out the slideshow.