The colossal West Gift Shop consumes approximately half of the museum’s basement level. Purchase knick-knacks modeled after famous artworks in the museum, earrings sculpted after Monet’s Water Lilies, painting supplies, artsy clothing and installation guides. A wide range of posters, books and home accessories inspired by the collections are also available. There’s also a more upscale East Gift Shop, which sells reproduced prints and textiles.
The Air & Space gift shop staple is the home of the infamous Einstein bobble heads. Around twenty or so sit in the window, heads bobbling up and down at all times, courtesy of the laws of physics – a tribute to the man who discovered E=MC2. The store also offers plenty of aviation-themed wonders, from a rocket alarm clock to telescopes to children’s astronaut suits.
This might be my favorite picture of our trip so far because if you know @joshuaconner he has a love for space 🚀, NASA, & pretty much wanted to be an astronaut his whole life so naturally our first stop was the Air & Space Museum! So #babybooconner I hope you like space because you're about to get an education from your dad.
The National Building Museum consistently receives national awards, and is ranked as the country’s best gift shop. The museum emphasizes the built environment, and how it’s often overlooked by humans; its gift shop further accentuates this point by retailing building kits, blue prints, and innovatively designed trinkets. It’s not what they sell, as much as how it invites you to think about the construction of each item available.
National Building Museum, 401 F St NW, Washington, DC, USA, +1 202 272 7706
The American History Museum’s gift shops are less tacky than one would expect, instead offering quality items and nothing short of Rosie the Riveter feminist memorabilia. The merchandise references historical events and the cultural and scientific progress over centuries, instead of gaudy American flag objects. The museum houses three different gift stores; one focuses solely on pop culture and offers retail like nostalgic toys, Elvis memorabilia, and replicas of Dorothy’s slippers (the museum collection includes the original pair.)
By Kate McMahon