Following on from last year’s first-ever Art Herstory Women Artists Favorite Things List, we present the 2021 round-up of our favorite things to do with female artists.
But first, this note: Many of the items listed below are available from museum stores. When you shop at a museum store, you help to sustain the museum’s service to their community and the public. Please consider sourcing some of your gifts this holiday season from a museum store—#BeAPatron.
This year, on November 28, Museum Store Sunday (outside the US, Museum Shop Sunday) celebrates its fifth anniversary. More than 1,500 museum stores representing all fifty US states, 24 countries, and five continents will offer relaxing, inspired shopping inside your favorite museums and cultural institutions. Check this site to find a participating bricks-and-mortar museum store near you! Or look here for the list of stores participating online.
And now, on to this year’s Favorite Things list… The first few entries relate to current or recent art museum exhibitions that focus(ed) on the work of one or more women:
Artemisia Gentileschi and Italian Women Artists
In conjunction with the exhibition By Her Hand: Artemisia Gentileschi and Women Artists in Italy, 1500–1800, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art store has assembled an impressive array of quality gifts. These include an Artemisia tote bag, folding wallet, 16-card postcard book, leather key tag, and mug, as well as individual postcards, and a variety of books. We are particularly taken with the hedgehog stuffed animal, felted ornament, and children’s book that celebrate the Giovanna Garzoni hedgehog miniature in the show!
Alma Thomas: Everything is Beautiful
The Chrysler Museum of Art was the first venue of the traveling exhibition Alma Thomas: Everything is Beautiful. The Chrysler museum store brought together Alma-related gifts for every taste and budget, including items for children! Visit online to browse home goods, jewelry, earrings, necklaces, socks, stickers, magnets and other favorite things.
The Alma Thomas show will be at the Phillips Collection from October 30, 2021 to January 23, 2022. At their store, you can find items that celebrate the artist’s Breeze Rustling Through Fall Flowers: a puzzle, an umbrella, a mousepad, a scarf (see below), a coaster set, and a journal, among other fine goods. The exhibition travels to the Frist Art Museum in February, and then moves to the Columbus Art Museum in Summer 2022. And you’ll notice still more Alma Thomas-inspired wares sprinkled through the categories below…
From now until January 9, Suzanne Valadon: Model, Painter, Rebel is on at Philadelphia’s Barnes Foundation. Among the items the museum shop has assembled in celebration of this exhibition are a pencil set inspired by the artist’s work The Violin Case; a set of commemorative enamel pins; and a 300-piece Blue Room puzzle (see below for picture).
From among an overwhelming array of items that honor the iconic Frida Kahlo, we pick just a few that stand out for us:
- Within the character ornaments it offers, Signals includes a Frida Kahlo option.
- From publisher Laurence King, there’s Find Frida, by Catherine Ingram with illustrations by Laura Callaghan. Searching for Frida in twelve intricately drawn scenes gives readers an overview of Kahlo’s life and her huge cultural influence.And within its extensive string doll offerings is a Kamabashi Frida doll/keychain.
- A Frida Kahlo magnetic dress up set, made by Unemployed Philosophers Guild, features some of the artist’s iconographic ensembles, plus other exciting outfits.
- Today Is Art Day has launched a new Pixel Art Collection, which includes a Frida notebook and tote bag.
- We’re quite taken with the colors of the Frida Kahlo mug from the Stash Tea Company!
There are two current Kahlo exhibitions (that we know of): Viva la Frida! – Life and art of Frida Kahlo at Drents Museum in the Netherlands, and Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Mexican Modernism from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection at the Norton Museum in West Palm Beach. Visit the Norton museum store for an extensive list of Frida-based gift ideas!
Love this product—women in art temporary tattoos! Made by Today is Art Day, the tattoos reproduce artworks by Artemisia Gentileschi, Frida Kahlo, Mary Cassatt, Tamara de Lempicka, Louise Bourgeois, Berthe Morisot, and Judith Leyster. There’s an all-Frida option, too …
Narrative Material makes a rectangular scarf inspired by Flowers in a Glass Vase, 1704, by Rachel Ruysch (Dutch, 1664–1750). The original oil on canvas work is part of the permanent collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts. It is impeccably designed; the scarf’s dimensions are in proportion to those of the original artwork.
At the higher end of the expense spectrum within this list is a limited edition (only 24 pieces made!) silk scarf based on Breeze Rustling Through Fall Flowers, by Alma Thomas. It is the first in a series designed to commemorate the 100th anniversary of The Phillips.
And brand new from the Hitchcock Museum Shop at Joslyn is a scarf that reproduces Still Life of Flowers in a Glass Vase, 1685, by Dutch artist Maria van Oosterwyck (1630–1693). We’ll keep you posted as the shop adds this product to the museum website!
Now we transition from individual artists to more general product groups, but the “Alma” and “Frida” threads wind throughout this post… Here are some favorites in the footwear category:
- There are many Frida socks on the market, but these women’s Frida Kahlo self-portrait socks are new to us! Love the colors (the feet are almost Art-Herstory-pink); this sock also comes in a purple/blue variation (also for women) and a green variation for men. We also like the color scheme of the Frida Callus socks (top middle, above).
- Exclusively at the Chrysler Museum Shop, you can find socks based on Alma W. Thomas’ Air View of a Spring Nursery. They also sell Alma-inspired “Rose” socks.
- Following on from the Cosmic Nature show at the New York Botanical Garden, the NYBG shop offers three varieties of sock that celebrate Yayoi Kusama!
Louise Bourgeois Memory Cards
Third Drawer Down has created an engaging and educational memory game for ages 3 and above, which features timeless textile designs from prolific artist Louise Bourgeois. It is suitable for young children to play with eight pairs; or, adults and/or older children can deploy all 24 pairs for a more challenging game.
Among the many jigsaw puzzles that celebrate women artists and their works, there are three this year that particularly stand out to us:
- A 1000-piece puzzle of Faith Ringgold’s Sunflower Quiliting Bee at Arles;
- A 1000-piece puzzle of Maria van Oosterwyck’s Still Life of Flowers in a Glass Vase; and
- A 300-piece puzzle of Suzanne Valadon’s The Blue Room.
Stationery and Paper Favorite Things
You know we at Art Herstory love this category! Stationery is definitely one of our favorite things. It is exciting and encouraging to see other entities—large and small—celebrate women artists in the context of note cards, calendars, notebooks, and other stationery products.
The Wardrobe Lady Collection of Letterpress Note Cards
The Wardrobe Lady collection of letterpress note cards reproduce drawings by Lucille, who worked in a San Francisco shop in the early 1900s. Her sketches were so good that her employer, H. Liebes Company, used them in advertisements. The cards are available individually or as a set of 10 (2 of each image) from Puddleduck Corner, on Etsy. Visit the shop to see all 5 card designs!
The Anita Walsmit Sachs Line
Scientific illustrator Anita Walsmit Sachs is a tutor for the Society of Botanical Artists in England, and the founder of the Dutch Society of Botanical Artists. Her stationery line—which includes postcards, note card wallets, calendars, notepads, and notebooks—features her own artwork. Browse the full line here.
Kate Furbish Botanical Note Cards
This eight-card set of blank note cards features watercolor paintings by Maine artist and botanist Catherine “Kate” Furbish (1834–1931), reproduced from her Maine Flora, 1870–1908, in the Kate Furbish Collection at the Bowdoin College Library. The cards are available from the Bowdoin College Store. All proceeds go toward the preservation of Furbish’s original works of art.
Flowers by Sarah Mapps Douglass, 1833 Stationery Cards
Sarah Mapps Douglass (1806–1882) was an American educator, abolitionist, writer, and public lecturer. Designed by Maria Popova, this set of three stationery note cards with matching envelopes reproduces Douglass’ flower illustration that accompanies an anonymous poem (original held by the Library Company of Philadelphia). On the Society 6 website, you will also find a mask and a print that feature this image.
Select the perfect birthday card—from silly to sophisticated—from Princeton Architectural Press’ Birthday Box. Slide open the matchbox-style box to discover twenty designs and twenty envelopes in five bold colors that make these cards a joyful celebration from the moment they’re received. The designs are all by women artists: Poppy Crew, Monika Forsberg, Maya Hanisch, Beatrix Hatcher, and Lieke van der Vorst.
Hilma af Klint Orange Notebook
Bokförlaget Stolpe has produced a blank book that features on the cover a detail of a painting by Hilma af Klint (1862–1944). This notebook features textured paper over board binding, colored endpapers, and a premium, thick ivory paper for drawing, journal writing, or note-taking. It is available from multiple outlets, including Distributed Art Publishers and the LACMA Store,
We are a fan of the Alma Thomas 2022 Wall Calendar from Pomegranate. In the 12 paintings featured in this calendar, the artist’s lifelong study of color theory sparkles.
Pomegranate is also planning a Faith Ringgold 2022 Wall Calendar, not yet available as of this writing. It will present 12 stirring images by the artist, including painted tributes to Mahalia Jackson and Maya Angelou. In case you haven’t heard the news: opening February 17, 2022, The New Museum presents Faith Ringgold: American People, New York’s first full retrospective for this artist!
Maria Van Oosterwyck Stationery Items
Joslyn Art Museum recently acquired Still Life of Flowers in a Glass Vase, 1685, by Dutch artist Maria van Oosterwyck. Joslyn’s Hitchcock Museum Shop offers a variety of stationery items that reproduce this gorgeous painting, including a bookmark, journal, and a note card. The artwork is also reproduced on a 1000-piece puzzle (see above), a scarf (see above), a mask, and a porcelain ornament.
Judith Leyster’s The Last Drop Mouse Pad
Sugar Daddy Tees & Things makes a mousepad that features Judith Leyster’s painting The Last Drop (the original artwork is held by the Philadelphia Museum of Art). This company also makes a face mask and outlet cover that feature the Leyster work.
Happily, there are too many new books about women artists to include them all in this post. But, Art Herstory publishes quarterly updates of new books by women artists. Here are links to our “new books” lists for the first, second, and third quarters of 2021.
And don’t forget Art Herstory …
While this post profiles goods from a variety of vendors, don’t neglect to visit the Art Herstory shop! Since our launch in March 2019, the Art Herstory line has grown considerably. We now offer
- 17 note card designs;
- 6 pre-packaged 6-pack samplers;
- 3 Christmas and/or holiday card designs;
- An Artemisia Gentileschi magnet/magnetic bookmark set; and
- A Lavinia Fontana porcelain ornament (quantities limited).
Consider these options as gifts and/or stocking stuffers! Don’t forget, you can always design your own custom 6-pack of note cards.
Not every one of the “favorite things” listed above will be available in every market. However, we hope this list inspires you as you embark on your holiday shopping. What are your favorite items?!