Summer showers have rained on a number of parades lately, putting a heavy damper on many fun-in-the-sun plans. But, there’s nothing quite like a dose of retail therapy to chase away a storm or two—especially when paired with a side of art and a scoop of culture.
Five DFW museums have the perfect remedy for stormy blues, with their uniquely curated boutiques providing just as much inspiration as many of their must-see exhibits. After all, the paintings and sculptures are magnificent, but the gift shop perusing was always our favorite part—shhh, don’t tell. So, if you’re looking for some great, out-of-the-box local shopping with a pinch of artsy flair, grab your umbrella, pack your galoshes, and let the museum (s)hopping begin.
Crow Collection of Asian Art
For an afternoon escape with incredible views, the Crow Collection of Asian Art bids the ultimate passport into the art of Asia and souvenirs abound at the museum’s Lotus Shop. The store currently features a collection of Korean merchandise, including pottery and home goods, that coincide with the exhibition, Jean Shin: Inclusions, on display through Jan. 3.
Of course, when possible, we always advise to wear the art. The shop’s beautifully twisted origami-inspired necklaces, plus the full collection of earthy-chic horn jewelry are a masterpiece addition to any sartorial canvas.
2010 Flora St., Dallas
Dallas Museum of Art
Known for more than just a late-night hangout, the Dallas Museum of Art also specializes in the “art of shopping.” On a recent visit, we scooped a new line of jewelry from local designer Julie Cohn. Using old-world casting techniques to create rough yet refined pieces, Cohn’s jewelry collection unveils primitive depth fused with rich, modern styling.
On the fairer side of things, we also spied a deliciously decorated placemat set, inspired by the spidery structures of the late French-American artist and sculptor, Louise Bourgeois—the perfect addition to a dinner party. We also became a huge fan of Austin-based designer Rebecca Finell’s eponymous neo-luxe handbags, and her equally fashion-forward homewares — including a sod drying rack that makes even doing the dishes a beautiful work of art.
1717 N. Harwood, Dallas
Nasher Sculpture Center
Nasher Sculpture Center — you had us at hello. On a recent visit to the contemporary haven, we became mesmerized by British sculptor Phyllida Barlow’s towering, ramshackle structures — currently showing through August 30. Aside from incredible modern art showings, the museum alone is worth the trip for its award-winning Nasher Store. From creatively designed gifts and books, to a dizzying array of home goods and accessories, the Nasher Store is one that draws our inner shop-a-holic in with magnetic force.
Peek Los Angeles-based artist Elyse Graham’s whimsical balloon-shaped vases, colorful geodes, and flirty “kiss” necklaces that are each one-of-a-kind works. After dusting off your credit card (because you’ll definitely need it at this point), then head over to admire the Lucite home accessories of the Dallas-based label Sawyer. The mother-daughter duo behind the brand, Kim Bannister and Sawyer Bannister, introduce a unique line of home goodies that are hand-poured, cut, and infused with natural shells and stones that were collected during their global travels to Jamaican beaches and South African plateaus.
2001 Flora St., Dallas
Perot Museum of Nature & Science
Being nerd-chic is always in style, so geek out at the Perot’s Museum Shop where educational and unique gifts are more than just a given. This summer, the store is taking a walk on the wild side with plenty of merch centered around its new Walking with Dinosaurs: Prehistoric Planet 3D film and the Amazing Animals: Built to Survive traveling exhibit that is on display through Sept. 7.
2201 N. Field St., Dallas
The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
Funky, mod moments are the order of the day at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth’s museum shop, where artsy pieces like the Ekko elliptical desktop mobile bring a kinetic splash to the home or office. The Stash Catchall by Modko is also about form and function, providing the perfect place to empty your wallet, keys, loose change, or jewelry, in the most artistic of ways. And, if the anime mood strikes, the Sailor Moon messenger bag has quirky kitsch factor in spades. But what really caught our eye were the Criffin Designs cufflinks. Handcrafted using new and re-purposed airline materials, these designer cufflinks would make a great, last-minute Father’s Day gift (hint, hint).
3200 Darnell St., Fort Worth
The Crow, Nasher, and DMA are hosting a Dallas Arts District museum shop sale on June 19 (6pm-midnight) and June 20 (11am-5pm) in the outdoor courtyard adjacent to the Dallas Museum of Art on Harwood Street. Stayed tuned on the potential rain plan.