I can’t depend what number of occasions I’ve been to the Louvre Museum’s reward store, however it was simply earlier than the coronavirus outbreak that I found La Boutique de la Chalcographie du Louvre, the general public face of the museum’s atelier that reproduces prints and sculptures.
It’s a repository for greater than 600 prints (or, because the museum refers to them, engravings) produced from plates within the Louvre’s everlasting assortment, rendered on museum-quality paper and assured to final 100 years.
In regular occasions all of them are on show and on the market to guests. I’ve spent hours leafing by the handfuls of folios there — with out ever paying the worth of admission into the museum itself.
With Paris beneath lockdown, visiting the Louvre and Paris’s different museums and cultural areas will not be an possibility, however it’s nonetheless doable to reap the benefits of their expertly curated reward outlets.
A few of the “better of” museum boutiques in Paris and all through France may be discovered on the English-language model of the web web site Boutique de Musées. Different museums supply reward gadgets at their very own web sites.
Boutique de Musées, which ships to locations around the globe, is organized in response to subject — together with books, posters, dwelling décor, toys, jewellery, reward concepts and prints on demand (together with prints from the Louvre).
Underneath the Centre Pompidou entry, there may be an array of objects impressed by works within the museum, together with a set of three stacking mugs from the Netherlands-based De Stijl motion, whose central figures had been the painters Piet Mondrian and Theo van Doesburg (€51); Joan Miró socks for adults and youngsters (€12); and skateboards with copies of artist’s work by The Skateroom (€220), whose nongovernmental group gives youngsters and younger folks with entry to training and skate applications in Afghanistan, Cambodia and South Africa.
My favourite museum store — not a part of Boutique de Musées — is the one hooked up to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs/MAD — MAD in French stands for Mode, Arts, Design. Its merchandise are so various that the store on the Rue de Rivoli, in regular occasions, is taken into account a vacation spot all by itself.
Right here yow will discover essentially the most trendy carryall for journey — a Loqi X MAD reversible tote bag (€15.95); Japanese blue and white cotton dish towels (€9.95); and wool and silk shawls impressed by outdated carpets.
There may be additionally a big selection of merchandise from Alessi, the century-old Italian dwelling design producer, and what espresso drinker wouldn’t need a present of eight espresso spoons — all of them totally different (€54)? And when was the final time you noticed daring jeweled shoe clips (€29.95-34.95)?
OK, some gadgets are too valuable for phrases — just like the miniature aluminum and leather-based Eames chair (€629) or a Verbena embroidered flowered headband (€690). However I’ll at all times really feel a tinge of remorse that I didn’t splurge on a chunk of historical past: a €540 limited-series authentic mild fixture from the Eiffel Tower that’s now not on show.
Buyers with unique tastes will love the boutiques of the Musée Guimet (devoted to Asian artwork) and the Musée du Quai Branly (African, Oceanic, American and Asian works). Among the many finds on the Guimet: a set of 4 sake cups in thick, coloured glass. The Branly affords heavy ornate Indonesian necklaces of beads, shells and bone — not for carrying however for show as an art work on a wall.
Some museum outlets can shock. I used to be not anticipating a lot from the Monnaie de Paris — the French Mint — which as soon as produced all of the cash of the realm and now makes commemorative cash, jewellery, art work and honorary medals like these of the Legion of Honor at its web site on the Seine close to the Pont Neuf.
Lengthy earlier than the pandemic, I wandered into the reward store with an in depth school pal who was visiting from London. As preposterous because it sounds, she and I had been born in the identical metropolis on the identical day. A gold-trimmed porcelain mug with pink-red roses on a background of eggshell blue and vibrant yellow with a celadon inexperienced deal with caught my eye. It was over-the-top; it was excellent. We purchased matching mugs.
Mine sits on my desk. I take advantage of it on daily basis, a reminder of our lengthy friendship.