Metropolitan Museum Art Amps Up Gift Store

Art Persian Star Jacquard Scarf. Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Art Persian Star Jacquard Scarf. Metropolitan Museum of Art.

New York–A visit to a museum’s gift store has long been a way for museumgoers to take home a piece after viewing a particular exhibit. But the Metropolitan Museum of Art Store has recently undergone a merchandise overhaul to make it a destination in its own right.

One way the museum has achieved this is with a new focus on  exclusive collections by designers already producing under their own names.

Jewelry designer Robert Lee Morris and Isaac Manevitz (of the line Ben-Amun) have created exclusive collections for the gift shop to debut this fall.

“This is the first time the Museum is working with outside designers and we’re very excited,” says Michael Nash, manager of jewelry reproductions and home décor.” The jewelry designs are very artful and are sometimes based on a particular exhibit at the museum.”

Art Smith Necklace. Produced in cooperation with the Brooklyn Museum.

Art Smith Necklace. Produced in cooperation with the Brooklyn Museum.

The exclusive Ben-Amun for the Metropolitan Museum of Art line was inspired by modernist jewelry designer Art Smith, who has an ongoing show at the affiliate Brooklyn Museum. Robert Lee Morris, who traditionally works in silver, created an exclusive line of fashion jewelry for the Met featuring bronze with gold overlay. The Ben-Amun line is fashion jewelry as well.

New Islamic Galleries

On November 1st, the museum will open its new Islamic Galleries, featuring Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia, giving the Met’s accessories designers a treasure trove of items to use as inspiration.

“We don’t replicate items exactly for the gift shop, but rather get inspired from what’s in the museum, such as an Islamic tile used as a scarf print,” says Karen Klink, product development manager, textiles and accessories. “All pieces will come with a hangtag featuring information and a photo of the original piece that inspired item.

Mughal Garden Accessories, Hobo Tote Bag. Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Mughal Garden Accessories, Hobo Tote Bag. Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In some cases, the prints aren’t even lifted directly from an actual item, but rather inspired by the entire period.

Jewelry will be a big focus for the new gift shop. “We hit up different areas of the museum for inspiration,” says Nash, who notes that the Mughal area is particularly important for jewelry with colored stones. “Color is the must saleable for us.”

Another interesting addition will be boxed jewelry sets inspired by the “Italian Portraits” show, opening this November. Inside the box is a replica of an actual portrait, with a real pair of earrings and necklace inset into the picture.

All items pictured will be available at the gift store starting in September.

To visit the museum store, click here.

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Lauren Parker, Accessories Magazine

Lauren Parker, Editor-in-Chief, Accessories Magazine
As Editor-in-Chief of Accessories Magazine for the past 12 years, Lauren Parker has covered accessories both from a retail business perspective and a fashion point of view. In previous full-time magazine jobs and freelance gigs, she’s written about practically every angle of fashion lifestyle living, including women's fashion accessories, fine jewelry, Caribbean travel, private jets, Hampton’s real estate, the New York art scene, the bridal industry, men’s lifestyle and being a mom. She loves meeting designers and seeing how their latest offerings capture the current zeitgeist and fit into the entire cultural and social picture.