Road Journals Blog—The holiday terror is nearly upon us: Where to find that truly unique gift? Fortunately, Northern California boasts a number of great museum stores, stocked with fascinating goods you often won't find elsewhere. Here are four of the best, with a pair of gift ideas from each.
Asian Art Museum, San Francisco
Won’t Break the Bank: A plush toy rhino modeled after a rhinoceros-shaped, 3,000-year-old bronze Chinese vessel that's among the museum's most iconic objects ($25).
Splurge: An elegant, wide-brim flower basket signed by its maker, Japanese artist Jin Morigami, whose work is in the museum's permanent collection ($950).
Won’t Break the Bank: A ring from Argentinean designer Doris Viñas made from an aluminum zipper ($16).
Splurge: From Seattle designers Iacoli + McAllister, a five-strand, multi-color necklace fashioned from brass and copper square tubing ($320).
Won't Break the Bank: A 16-ounce jar of all-natural, raw honey harvested exclusively from hives in Oakland ($12.95).
Splurge: A signed, 2010 blue-and-red etching of a whimsical giraffe by the American artist Mark Dion, one of a limited edition of 45 ($300).
Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento
Won't Break the Bank: Weird and fun kids' backpacks adorned with fabric bubbles or spikes ($30-$48).
Splurge: A large bowl-like, glass sculpture, hand-blown in eye-popping blues, reds, and yellows by Sacramento artist Tim Lazer ($2,500).
Photography courtesy of SFMOMA
This blog was first published in November 2013. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.