Growing up with two parents who were both deeply devoted to art, who had art in the house (one of my earliest art memories is of a print of Eduard Charlemont’s The Moorish Chief hanging in my parents’ bedroom), with a father who was an Impressionist-style artist and who kept an amazing, packed studio of tools and easels and paints, stacks of canvases in closets, his art hanging on our walls, spending every Sunday morning at the museum, going to every major exhibit in every city we visited on vacation…it all filled me with such a reverence for and appreciation of fine art. Sundays weren’t for football in my house (and thank god for that).
As someone that still finds going to the museum to be the ultimate way to spend a few free hours, who seeks out the reflective, quiet solitude of hushed galleries and Old Masters, I can’t wait to take my (very future, very hypothetical) child there. I have this plan to give them a few postcards of major works from the gift shop, and then wander the galleries with them and have them try to ‘find’ the paintings that match their cards. That sort of joy, of sharing something so special and important and meaningful, is something I am looking forward to more than anything else. And because, as my dad was fond of saying, “every cultural experience must end in a retail experience,” herewith are a bunch of art-related presents to give to kids, to provide them with a solid background and exposure to some of the greatest artists and painters in history.
1. Dancing with Degas book / 2. Renoir nightlight / 3. Mona Lisa watch / 4. Van Gogh Rubik’s cube / 5. Rodin tee / 6. Rodin Museum snowglobe / 7. Van Gogh finger puppets / 8. Art kit / 9. Monet’s Garden pop-up book / 10. Frida Kahlo dress-up / 11. Renoir puzzle / 12. Monet doll / 13. Artist Playing Cards / 14. Picasso doll
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want that Renoir nightlight and Monet stuffed doll for myself (…okay, and everything else). And yes, I already have that Rodin t-shirt (thanks to Jamal for picking it up in Paris) and that Monet garden pop-up book from my childhood. It’s one of the most gorgeous things, though I might have to wait until future-kid isn’t guaranteed to destroy it with its grubby little fingers, haha.