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Curated Gifts


Escape the holiday madness by shopping at a museum gift shop. For traditional artwork, imaginative home decor, and everything in between, museum shops offer an impressive array of distinctive items for everyone on your list. A fringe benefit: your purchases will help support exhibitions and education. That’s a gift that keeps on giving.

Delaware Art Museum

“Saffron Seaform Pair,” 2013 Chihuly Workshop Studio Edition, handblown glass, signed, dated, and numbered; $5,500. Approximately 9″ across. Includes certificate of authenticity and Plexiglas vitrine display case with black base. One of four pieces for sale.

Every year, Chihuly Workshop collaborates with glass artist Dale Chihuly to create four Studio Editions drawn from one of the distinctive series he’s created throughout his career. The animated and complex Saffron Seaform Pair for 2013 is a fluent example of the Seaform series. A thin crimson body wrap is applied to each piece of this two-part composition, providing a vivid contrast to the rich honeyed yellow and extending the dimensional ebb and flow of the sculpture’s undulating ripples and radial design. A breathtaking addition to any collection. delart.org

Winterthur Museum Garden & Library

Get inspired to start your own floral tradition with
expert advice from Alberta A. Melloy, head flower arranger at Winterthur from 1983 to 1990. In this lavishly illustrated volume, the author covers basic techniques and design principles, then gives detailed instructions for creating fresh arrangements and even the famous Winterthur Yuletide dried-flower tree. winterthur.org

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Rose Teapot Set; $59.50. Also available in purple and green.

The cups in Beijing designer Shen Di’s porcelain set nestle cleverly into a graceful rose. Peel the layers apart to discover each petal’s function: a plate, a bowl, two cups, a tea strainer, and a spoon. Comes paired with a matching lidded teapot. Microwave and dishwasher safe. philamuseum.org

Chester County Historical Society

Layers: Unfolding the Stories of Chester County Quilts; $28. Paperback, 158 pages, 203 color photos, 21 black-and-white photos. Edited by Catherine E. Hutchins with an introduction by Ellen Endslow, Chester County Historical Society Director of Collections/Curator.

Every quilt tells a story: of a crafter, a family, a town, a friendship, even a political position. The Chester County Historical Society, which maintains an impressive collection of local examples and spearheaded an ambitious quilt documentation project, brings those rich narratives to life in this comprehensive, beautifully illustrated volume. Layers puts quilting into historical context as it explores their beauty and significance. This noteworthy book is a must for any quilt enthusiast, history buff, or fan of decorative arts.  chestercohistorical.org

Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts

Wine Orchid Medium Market Handbag; $125. 18″ long (includes flap), 9.5″ wide, 6″ deep.

Alison Dryer of Pistol Designs is right on target with this cheerful handbag. Clean lines, soft geometric details, handmade wooden handles and “found fabric” unite in a feminine form with sculptural overtones. Practical, too! With side pleating and a self-closing flap-and-belt design, the bag is big enough for everyday use without being unwieldy. thedcca.org



Brandywine River Museum

Jamie Wyeth “Blizzard of the Century” art reproduction print; $30. 25″ x 21″ (image size, 19″ x 15″).

Jamie Wyeth’s Blizzard of the Century is a visual definition of the word “evocative.” The snowy landscape beyond the window, the texture of the hat, the vivid color of the flower, the shutters that can protect (or isolate) … Wyeth draws us into the scene and encourages us to let our imagination fill in the blanks. brandywinemuseum.org

Hagley Museum and Library

Gear Clock; $112. 14″ in diameter.

Sleek and shiny, the Gear Clock is Netherlands artist Wil Van Den Bos’ ultra-modern homage to technology that has been around for millennia. At Hagley’s powder yards, gears were used to transfer power from waterwheels and turbines to gunpowder-producing machinery—much of which is still visible on site. The battery-run clock’s stainless steel rim houses its exposed workings. A mesmerizing way to watch time go by. hagley.org

Delaware Museum of Natural History

Bug-Opoly and Dino-Opoly from Late for the Sky; each $26. Ages 6 and up.

Clear off the kitchen table and bring back family game night with Bug-Opoly and Dino-Opoly, critter-centric versions of the traditional property trading game. Budding entomologists and paleontologists will learn fun facts about their favorite animals while they move around the board. Yes, the games are educational and reinforce science and math skills—but they’re also creeping, stomping good fun! delmnh.org

Longwood Gardens

Celebrate the beauty of nature with one-of-a-kind framed botanical pressings hand-made by a special team of Longwood Gardens staffers. These extraordinary artworks help preserve the history of Longwood’s living collection and make a dramatic statement in the home. Each specimen is unique. longwoodgardens.org

Longwood Gardens Herbarium; unframed, approximately 15″ wide x 20″ high, $149; framed, approximately 16″ wide x 22″ high, $395.00.