Museum Store Sunday Shines a Light on Culture-Cool Shops

The Sunday after Thanksgiving is devoted to the retail experiences found at art, science, and cultural institutions around the country.

Autry Museum of the American West/Buyenlarge/Contributor

What to Know

  • Sunday, Nov. 29
  • Southern California museums are temporarily closed
  • Several museum stores may be found online, and a few have deals in honor of the occasion

That postcard on the front of your fridge, the one from The Broad or LACMA or The Autry Museum of the American West or The Skirball Cultural Center or The Gamble House?

It may be just under six inches long, and just over four inches wide, but you know that it is actually something much, much bigger.

For the small card is, in fact, a window of sorts, a passage back to the happy afternoon you enjoyed at a favorite museum, strolling from exhibit to exhibit.

Postcards from museum stores may serve as tiny time travel windows, but so do the unique pieces of jewelry, gorgeous wearables, and painting-packed books you find in such places.

And such places love their patrons, the people that help both the shop, and larger institution, stay robust.

To aid in that joyful robust-a-tude, and to show our local museums, which remain temporarily closed, that we're thinking of them, and that we continue to support their missions, there is Museum Store Sunday.

Of course, Museum Store Sunday existed prior to 2020, but it is an occasion that has suddenly taken on a great deal of importance, meaning, and, yes, urgency, too.

Call it a wonderful way to connect with a favorite museum, all while sending funds in the direction of a destination you've long adored.

And, you bet: You can patronize the online stores of museums across the nation, as well as those located in Southern California. There are around 1,600 museum shops participating in the 2020 event.

Where to start?

There's a map on the Museum Store Sunday site, pointing us in the direction of local shops that would love our patronage.

"Museum Store Sunday offers a special shopping experience in one-of-a kind stores, showcasing broad assortments of highly curated, unique, mission-specific gifts," shared a statement on the event's site.

"From books to jewelry to children’s products to home accessories and gourmet food, there is something for everyone. Shop knowing you are supporting the missions and programs of each participating museum and cultural institution."

You can learn more about how the stores found within our cultural institutions contribute to the museum's overall budget, and the essential roles these shops play.

While we can't physically call upon a local museum on Nov. 29, 2020, we can reach out, across the internet, and find scarves, toys, and, yes, postcards, too, the goodies that summon the spirits of the spots that have lifted our own spirits, time and again.

Support your local museum now, if you can, through a purchase, a membership, or a vow to return when it again reopens to in-person visits.

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