Nab distinctive gifts at these top museum gift shops

Not all museum gift shops are made equal. These top spots offer one-of-a-kind merchandise that lets you take home a slice of the experience or share it with family and friends.

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond—The Commonwealth’s premier destination for fine art also brings primo shopping opportunities. Here you’ll find fun, branded staples like bumper stickers and refrigerator magnets alongside a curated selection of goods inspired by current exhibitions. VMFA.museum

Gari Melchers Home And Studio, Fredericksburg—The historic 27-acre country retreat of renowned portrait artist, muralist, and American Impressionist painter Gari Melchers and his wife, Corrine, features a visitor center, expansive gardens, an 18th-century home that’s been transformed into a museum, and a gallery with more than 1,600 pieces of art. Its shop offers everything from Melcher-themed art prints, stationary, and Christmas ornaments, to antique furniture and locally made jewelry. GariMelchers.org

Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia—Did you know one of the world’s finest collections of Australian indigenous art is housed in a historic home museum on the outskirts of downtown Charlottesville? The Kluge-Ruhe holds more than 2,000 objects that span a variety of media, including bark paintings, sculpture, photography, prints, and artifacts. Its gift shop is stocked with handmade items like traditional wooden dishes, baskets, bark paintings, and wallets from certified Aboriginal artists and artisans. Kluge-Ruhe.org  

James Monroe’s Highland—Immerse yourself in the world of the fifth U.S. president at this magnificently restored, 1,000-acre Charlottesville estate and living history museum. Tour the property’s sprawling gardens, plantation grounds, and a home built by Monroe in 1799. Don’t miss the gift shop and visitor center, which brings an interesting medley of goodies that range from Antebellum-focused history books to local honey and jams, heirloom-quality textiles, ceramics, jewelry, and wood sculptures from regional juried artisans. Highland.org


This article originally appeared in the Best of Virginia 2024 issue.

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