Museum Merch: Eight Great Gifts for Museum Lovers
Pittsburgh’s cultural institutions offer a bounty of cool stuff for the holidays.
The shops in Pittsburgh’s museums and creative spaces are my go-to places for unique holiday gifts. They offer a delightful collection of uncommon or exclusive merchandise, many with a local touch — And there is something for all ages. (Most stores offer gift cards, and museum members receive discounts.)
Paint by Numbers
When you think of Andy Warhol, Campbell’s Tomato Soup cans come to mind. Now you can create your own version of one with this paint-by-number kit. It includes a line drawing of the iconic can and paint and is good for all ages.
The Andy Warhol Museum
117 Sandusky St., North Shore
Charlie the Astronaut Bot helps youngsters explore the solar system and more. From an app, kids control Charlie several ways — through a programming module (up to 200 actions) or by directing him through a remote-control system. Some controls are completed even with hand gestures. This PlayVisions product is recommended for children 5 and older.
Carnegie Science Center
1 Allegheny Ave., North Shore
The merchandise in the Mattress Factory store is as eclectic as the museum’s installation art. You’ll never be in the dark with these Steampunk Switch Plates, a style that incorporates science fiction, Victorian-age fashion and industrial elements. They’re made in the U.S. of laser-engraved plywood with decorative brass pieces, and they fit most outlets.
500 Sampsonia Way, North Side
Learn about creatures from the late Cretaceous Period — the T-Rex and Triceratops, for example — through these wooden models. The tin contains 14 wooden interlocking pieces to create each dinosaur. Assembled, the T-Rex is 3 inches tall and 2 inches long; the Triceratops is 1.25 inches tall and 3.5 inches long. Recommended for children 7 and older.
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland
Serve your coffee or tea in this hand-crafted Mister Rogers flower mug by artist Justin Rothshank, a studio potter in Goshen, Indiana. In 2001, he co-founded the Union Project, a nonprofit arts organization in Highland Park. The mug is part of a line of “political pottery” with ceramic decals sporting the faces of prominent individuals, such as Dr. Anthony Fauci and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (with his mittens). Inventory changes.
5645 Butler St., Lawrenceville
Of course The Frick Pittsburgh would have tea. The museum complex and grounds honor the life and times of Henry Clay Frick, the industrialist and art collector whose family lived at Clayton, his Point Breeze home, at the height of the Victorian era. Helen’s Earl Grey Tea, privately labeled by Harney & Sons, is a 4-ounce loose leaf tea mixture of black teas from India and China, blended with natural bergamot oil. The Frick Specialty Tea Blend (3 ounces), also made by Harney & Sons, combines black teas — small assam, keemun, small ceylon and oolong.
The Frick Pittsburgh
7227 Reynolds St., Point Breeze
thefrickpittsburgh.org/store ($10 each)
Dream of everything pickled in these Heinz Pickle Pajama Pants. They’re made from a specialized polyester blend that mimics body temperature. Lightweight and breathable, with pockets and drawstring, they’re available in adult sizes from Small to XXLarge.
Heinz History Center
1212 Smallman St., Strip District
Hug a Tree
Among some of the more popular items this fall at the Carnegie Museum of Art are the sweatshirts created by artists with commissioned work in the 58th Carnegie International. This sweatshirt was designed by terra0, a group of developers, artists and researchers based in Berlin who are exploring the creation of hybrid ecosystems in the technosphere.
Carnegie Museum of Art
4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland