Find More Than Just Tacky T-Shirts at These Museum Gift Shops


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Photo by Meredith Deliso
Just a small sampling of what the Contemporary Arts Museum's gift shop has to offer.
Museum gift shops aren't usually known for their good taste -- think boxy, stiff T-shirts, garish magnets and easily breakable key chains tied to whatever forgettable exhibition is currently on display. As you do your holiday shopping this season, though, don't rule out these Museum District stores -- you might be pleasantly surprised by the craftsmanship and charm of their offerings. In fact, we broke it down for you based on type of person you're shopping for.

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Photo by Meredith Deliso
Handcrafted baskets, only at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft.
For the crafts lover
Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, 4848 Main, 713-529-4848

The Houston Center for Contemporary Craft's gift shop isn't so much a gift shop but a gallery that sells affordable art. In fact, it's even called the Asher Gallery, and highlights national and local craft artists, some even artists-in-resident at the space. One such artist is Leslie Shershow, whose plastic, "diamond rings" ($60), as she calls them, are quickly becoming hits. They're part of the artist's "Quilted" series of jewelry, and come in a number of bright, bold colors, perfect for the friend that always stands out in a crowd.

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Photo by Meredith Deliso
Initial cards by Michael Farris -- perfectly frameable.
Jewelry by dconstruct has also been popular, and affordable ($29-$36), choices at the shop, which is the only gallery in Houston, maybe Texas, that carries it. On the higher end of jewelry is Tana Acton, whose wire jewelry -- bracelets and rings made from one continuous wire, with beads and stones added in elegant designs -- ranged from $98 for the rings to $288 for some of the bracelets. There's more wire craftiness to admire in the Luna baskets ($29-$255), above, which can be used decoratively, to hold light items such as yarn, or even as evening bags for the light traveler. For the friend who's far away, don't pass over Michael Farris's artful initial cards ($10), which are perfect for framing.

There will be a members' sale from November 17 to 20, kicking off on November 17 with a trunk sale by Heidi Gerstacker from 5:30-8 p.m.

Location Info

Map

Houston Center for Contemporary Craft

4848 Main St., Houston, TX

Category: General

Museum Of Fine Arts, Houston

1001 Bissonnet St., Houston, TX

Category: General

Contemporary Arts Museum Houston

5216 Montrose Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: General

Houston Museum of Natural Science

5555 Hermann Park Drive, Houston, TX

Category: General

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