Colorful and Cultural: LA Museum Gifts

Offbeat gifts, with a strong dose of whimsy, can be found at institutions around town.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Center
    A peacock hand puppet? It's at the Getty Center's gift shop, along with other cultural, beautiful, and offbeat items.

    How long does it take to open a present?

    The answer depends on a few things, like the age of the recipient. A 4-year-old can get a box open in fifteen seconds flat, correct? Yeah.

    And if the recipient believes that the box in front of them holds the gift they've been dreaming about, you can bet the box'll ripped into within a minute.

    We can all agree that present-opening isn't the longest act in the world, nor something that is often savored. Which is why the two-part present is the best.

    We said it: the best. And here's what we mean by "two-part present": The present that includes an outing to wherever you purchased the gift.

    Exhibit A? The museums of Southern California.

    Yep, they all come with gift shops, full of cultural and funny and offbeat items, and, yes, you can visit museums, pretty much any time of year, or so rumor has it.

    So purchase a peacock hand puppet at the Getty Center, for your favorite young art fan, and then plan a day after the holidays where you can both visit the high-on-a-hill institution. Or perhaps you know a Van Gogh lover? The Getty has several items sporting images of "Irises," one of the master's great works.

    The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has, as always, books and posters and clothing with a painterly bent, but we're rather intrigued with the holiday ornament, which is a balloon "covered in curing resin." The result is pretty stunning.

    And the Proof exhibition at the Norton Simon is pretty dang cool, but "pretty dang cool" can go for most goods found around the Pasadena landmark's pretty, garden-adjacent shop.

    Again, though, we say this: If you purchase a museum gift, stop to buy a pair of tickets, too, to extend the gift experience. Yep, it'll be ripped open in seconds, but if you have a day out at a SoCal institution planned, then, really, your present giving goes on for a good long while. And it helps the museums, too. 

    Win and win.

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