Shop for art's sake

If your tastes tend to lean more toward high culture, a visit to www.museumshop.com could be in order. Ideally, museums should serve as vibrant public spaces in which people examine life in its many shapes, colors and forms. However, the majority of the population, which considers the word museum a synonym for boring, would rather spend its time stuck in traffic than trudge through any of these halls of culture. For many people who do make it through the museum doors, the gift shop is often the best part. Why bother visiting an exhibit if you don’t get some sort of “proof” that you were there? Thanks to this handy Web site, would-be culture vultures don’t have to deal with crowds anymore; instead, all the artsy souvenirs from institutions around the country can be found in one place. For instance, from the Whitney Museum of American Art, you can find graphic/political artist Barbara Kruger’s “I Shop Therefore I Am” Tote Bag for $30.

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