You’re looking for a special token to commemorate your NYC visit (and why wouldn’t you?). But the tacky tangle of figurines, snow globes, and I ♥️ NY t-shirts is leaving you cold. Don’t despair! You’ll find both beautiful and meaningful mementos all over town in an unexpected place — the city’s many museum stores. From the big names to the hidden treasures, these ten options are just a few of our favorites.
The Store at MAD
2 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019
Reflecting the mission of the Museum of Art and Design, The Store at MAD serves as a bridge between artist, museum, and customer. Curated collections of beautifully executed pieces range from housewares to design-informed kids’ toys. The Re:FINE line of fine jewelry pairs traditional materials with unconventional shapes and textures (the Carmen Ring by Ana Swarup is a standout in oxidized silver and champagne diamonds).
MoMA Design Store
11 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019
The Big Daddy of Manhattan museum stores, MoMA Design Store goes beyond art books in a big way. You’ll discover everything from statement furniture to playful “kitchen hacks” (we love the Bubble Casserole Pot), all influenced by a contemporary design aesthetic. Bring some personality to your office with a Nendo Tilt Cuckoo Clock or a simply stylish Arne Jacobsen Message Board.
The Met Store
1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028
This flagship store draws on the Met’s collections of more than one million items spanning five thousand years of art history. A little intimidated by the inventory? Browse the Met Store Blog for curated highlights (we love the Roman Bead jewelry collection, pairing oversized gold silhouettes with chunky, eye-catching precious stones).
99 Gansevoort St, New York, NY 10014
Though this iconic museum’s shop is compact in size, its brilliantly curated offerings belie its modest square footage. In addition to museum-store classics like prints and ceramics, you’ll find pop-up shops by contemporary artists and designers. Celebrity favorite Spellbound Sky has contributed two rounds of New Age crystals and ritual accoutrements, and tattoo artist Amanda Wachob’s work lets visitors permanently commemorate their visit on their skin. With new ranges on sale in conjunction with each exhibition, the Whitney offers shopping serendipity.
American Museum of Natural History stores
Central Park West & 79th St, New York, NY 10024
The AMNH Store is undeniably kid-friendly, with colorful (and scientifically accurate) wall art, inspiring science kits, and toys for toddlers to teens. But parents and childfree adults will find plenty to bring home too: the Banded Onyx line from the Gem & Mineral collection offers pleasingly modern vases, dresser jars, and more. And what home is complete without a pint-sized telescope (or at least a smart weather station)?
New-York Historical Society Store
170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024
Founded in 1804 as New York City’s first museum, the Historical Society still celebrates the contributions of state residents from the last four centuries. Special shop sections are dedicated to New York City itself as well as the natural history of John James Audubon, the landscapes of the Hudson River School, and the stained glass designs of Louis Comfort Tiffany. Bring home a piece of history with a limited-edition Oppenheimer print of one of the museum’s treasures.
Museum of the City of New York
1220 5th Ave, New York, NY 10029
Where better to find only-in-New-York mementos than in a shop dedicated to 400 years of City history and culture? In addition to books, prints, and wearables inspired by the museum’s permanent collection, you’ll find special offerings based on temporary exhibitions (check out 2019’s celebration of Jackie Robinson’s career). Quirky items like the “spray can” cocktail shaker are sure to spark a smile.
The Rubin Museum Shop
150 W 17th St, New York, NY 10011
Dedicated to the art and culture of the Himalayan region of Asia, this shop features textiles, jewelry, and more handcrafted by traditional artisans from India, Nepal, and Tibet. Bring authentic flavors back to your kitchen with a range of teas, spices, and specialty oils, or perfume your home with a range of delicate sandalwood incenses.
The Met Cloisters store
99 Margaret Corbin Dr, New York, NY 10040
This branch of the Met, located in north Manhattan’s Fort Tryon, features halls and gardens dedicated to the art of medieval Europe. In the Met Store, you can indulge your inner Tudor (or Lannister) with recreations of some of the museum’s most treasured pieces. Choker necklaces based on leaves and foliage from the margins of medieval manuscripts strike a surprisingly contemporary note.
American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog
101 Park Ave, New York, NY 10017
After a 32-year absence, this showcase of all things canine has reopened in Manhattan. Pick up a souvenir for your four-legged friend in the dog-friendly gift shop. From toys to treats to holiday outfits, you’ll find everything you need for a happy and stylish pet.
Additions at National Museum of Mathematics
11 E 26th Street, New York, NY 10010
Bring home a hands-on souvenir from MoMath. Clever and engaging books, puzzles, and games are worthy of a spot on your coffee table. Try the deceptively simple-looking “Martin’s Menace” puzzle: its four pieces of polished hardwood have foiled some of the greatest mathematical minds in history. Or, dress up your outfit with a geometrically intriguing accessory like a pair of hypercube earrings or a Mobius strip pendant in sterling silver.