Finding that special gift for friends and family is often a challenge. Our Art & Design Editor Freire Barnes selects the best arty presents – from fun artist-inspired socks to limited edition scarves – that are only one click away.
Guess the Artist, £14.99 (Laurence King)
Could you decipher the artist from just three visual clues? Sounds easy but this clever art quiz designed by Craig & Karl will keep you on your toes. Regardless of whether you know your Bosch from your Basquiat, this game is fun for all the family, as the vibrantly zany flashcards will also reveal weird factoids that even the most ardent art fan might not know.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Brown King Charles Spaniel Necklace, £32.50 (RA)
You can give both the dog and art lover in your life this beautiful hand-painted porcelain necklace of a chestnut brown King Charles spaniel that is exclusively at the Royal Academy of the Arts shop to coincide with their current exhibition, Charles 1: King and Collector.
Polaroid OneStep 2, £109.99
Forget Instagram – it’s time to go back to the good ol’ days of analogue with the launch of a new range of instant cameras and film from Polaroid Originals. In celebration of the 80th anniversary of Polaroid, you can either take a hike down memory lane or discover for the first time the joy of instant photography with the new OneStep 2 camera. (Pack of eight pictures film £14.99).
Martin Parr Colouring Book, £12.95 (Aperture)
This brilliant colouring in book will keep any photo fan entertained for hours. Jane Mount has illustrated some of British photographer Martin Parr’s most iconic images that turn the banal everyday into hilarious observations. From the sock sandal fashion dilemma to the mayhem of seaside fast food restaurants, you’ll have fun putting your colourful take on the British quotidian.
Chatty Feet socks box set, £30
It’s time to give your feet a chance to shine with Chatty Feet’s Artists Sock Collection (Singles available at £7.50). Famous artists from Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso to Frida Kalho and Vincent van Gogh have been crafted into fun and colourful designs making the perfect stocking filler or under-the-tree present. It just seems a shame to put shoes on!
Roy Lichtenstein Whaam! explosion cushion cover, £20
Who said art was just for hanging on gallery walls. Now you can buy that special someone this brilliant cushion that features a section of the famous American Pop artist, Roy Lichtenstein’s most famous painting. Exclusively created for Tate the cushion features the explosion from Whaam! that recently underwent conservation work and has just gone back on public view at Tate Liverpool.
Art memberships, £32–£150
One of the best way to always guarantee access to sold out art exhibitions is to invest in a membership scheme at one of London’s cultural institutions. For a set annual amount you can make unlimited visits, get priority booking, attend exclusive private views and discounts in the shop and restaurants. From the National Art Pass that works at over 240 national museums to enjoying the perks of the RA, Tate and Barbican’s Friends scheme, this is the ideal gift for any culture lover in your life.
Judy Chicago Dinner Party coasters, $25
This set of cork-board coasters produced by Through the Flower, Judy Chicago’s non-profit art organization, are based on the plate designs of the American artist’s famous installation, The Dinner Party (1974-79) now permanently housed at Brooklyn Art Museum. Representing different women in history, each coaster is from one of four plate designs out of 39 table settings and depict: Primordial Goddess, Sappho, Isabella d’Este, Hypatia.
Caroline Harper DPG Map print, £16.95 (Dulwich Picture Gallery)
Celebrating 200 years of art in South London, this specially hand-drawn map by local illustrator, Caroline Harper captures the area surrounding Dulwich Picture Gallery, emphasising key architectural sites, paintings of interest and arty anecdotes.
Whistler Nocturne Silk Scarf, £65 (Tate)
Art exhibition merchandise can vary from the informative and concise catalogues to gimmicky mugs, so this silk scarf of the Thames at night is a real delight. Made exclusively to coincide with Tate Britain’s The EY Exhibition: Impressionists In London, the scene was painted by American artist James Whistler in 1871 and was his first Nocturnes that explored the beauty and tranquillity of a night scene.
Olafur Eliasson Little Sun Lamp, £20 (Tate)
Wanting to transform the lives of the 1.1 billion people living without access to energy, artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen founded Little Sun in 2012. Bringing a ray of sunshine in the form of a portable solar-powered LED lamp, Little Sun has helped people living in Ethiopia without electricity and has expanded globally. Your purchase of the lamp at a higher rate enables the project sell the light source at much lower affordable prices.
Yinka Shonibare cufflinks, £35 (Royal Academy of Arts)
Whether you’re stumped what to buy a family member or fancy adding that little bit extra to an outfit, these cufflinks by Yinka Shonibare MBE RA will add that splash of elegance. Exclusively available at the Royal Academy of Arts, the cufflinks feature details from the artist’s The British Library installation, so whoever you gift these to, would literally become a work of art.
Lucie Sheridan Print, £45 (Affordable Art Fair)
Art fairs are a great place to find art that you could imagine living with and if the price is right, taking home. Most fairs though only operate at specific times of the year, but now fairs like the Affordable Art Fair sell work all year round through their online portal. We love illustrator and print maker Lucie Sheridan’s prints of famous London landmarks.
Yayoi Kusama Soft Pumpkin Sculpture, £200 (Tate)
We all love Kusama’s gourd-inspired sculptures that are incorporated in her Infinity Room installations, or as standalone giant sculptures. And well we just can’t get enough of this, dare we say, cute, soft sculpture designed by the Japanese artist. At a height of 2ocm, the silkscreen printed nylon features Kusama‘s distinctive hallucination-inspired spots and we’re completely hypnotised.
Chris Ofili Woman Tea Towel, £35 (Tate)
Why not dry the Christmas washing up with one of Chris Ofili’s watercolours? Well we don’t mean literally, but this linen tea towel is the next best thing as its digitally printed with a painting from the British artist’s Afromuse series. Arguably a work of art in its own right, why not switch it up and frame it, making a truly unique present.
Looking for more art gifts inspiration? Take a peruse of these books for art lovers around the world.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
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