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Museum Store Sunday: Unique gift ideas close to home

Shirley McMarlin
| Friday, Nov. 17, 2017, 7:39 a.m.
The Carnegie Museum of Natural History will unveil a new line of T. rex-themed merchandise during Museum Store Sunday on Nov. 26.
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
The Carnegie Museum of Natural History will unveil a new line of T. rex-themed merchandise during Museum Store Sunday on Nov. 26.
A ceramic vessel by Laura Jean McLaughlin is featured in the shop at Contemporary Craft.
Contemporary Craft
A ceramic vessel by Laura Jean McLaughlin is featured in the shop at Contemporary Craft.
A ceramic plate by C.J. Niehaus is featured in the shop at Contemporary Craft.
Contemporary Craft
A ceramic plate by C.J. Niehaus is featured in the shop at Contemporary Craft.
Special holiday merchandise will be previewed in the shop at The Westmoreland Museum of American Art during Museum Store Sunday on Nov. 26.
thewestmoreland.org
Special holiday merchandise will be previewed in the shop at The Westmoreland Museum of American Art during Museum Store Sunday on Nov. 26.

When mall merchandise isn't special enough for that special someone, try a museum shop.

On Nov. 26, museums and other cultural institutions across the country and worldwide will open their shops for the first-ever Museum Store Sunday to promote holiday shopping for their one-of-a-kind gifts.

At The Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg,"we'll be previewing our special holiday merchandise," says shop manager Carol Sullivan. Items will include hand-blown glass ornaments; felted pins for the hat or lapel; and mittens, scarves and hats made in Maine from upcycled wools, including cashmere.

"All of our items are American-made," Sullivan says.

Shoppers also will receive $10 off on any purchase of $50 or more.

In addition to seasonal merchandise, individual Pittsburgh facilities will offer discounts, free gift-wrapping, activities and music, while all Pittsburgh locations will offer guests a chance to win a Museum Store Passport Prize valued at more than $1,000.

To be eligible, visitors can pick up passports at their first stop and have them stamped at two or more museums before dropping them off at their last destination. Drawing will be Dec. 4, with the winner announced Dec. 8.

At the Carnegie Museum of Art,select items will be up to 70 percent off. Gift wrapping will be free on purchases of $25 or more, while supplies last.

Meet-and-greets with "Anzu wyliei," the new 10-foot-tall, feathered dinosaur are planned at noon and 1 and 1:45 p.m. on the grand staircase at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. The Allderdice High School violin quartet will perform on the staircase from 2:15 to 3:15 p.m.

The museum's store will launch a new line of vintage T. rex merchandise including cotton throws, pillows and posters; and Pittsburgh-based artisan Sorcery Science will sell jewelry inspired by the store's juvenile T. rex, Jane.

At Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh's Strip District, winter artist-in-residence Daniel Baxter will be on-site making his Kreepy Dolls, stuffed toys that look like children's drawings come to 3-D life.

A free paper collage activity designed by local artist Seth Clark also will be available, says marketing manager Stephanie Sun.

Other special features include a showcase and sale of ceramic mugs, cups and tumblers by 35 artists; ceramics, fiber pieces and jewelry from the 2017 LEAP Award winners; and "Shelter: Crafting a Safe Home," an exhibition exploring homelessness and human displacement.

A Warhol figure will be offered as a gift with purchase of $35 at the Andy Warhol Museum.There also will be a new limited-edition Warhol Soup Can Chess set.

Museum Store Sunday is managed by the Philadelphia-based Museum Store Association, in partnership with the United Kingdom's Association for Cultural Enterprises and the Museum Shops Association of Australia and New Zealand.

Participation in Museum Store Sunday is open to all independently operated museum stores and nonprofit retailers located at museums, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, historic sites and other unique cultural institutions worldwide.

More than 400 museum stores representing all 50 states, eight countries and three continents will be open on Nov. 26 to showcase broad assortments of curated gifts specific to the missions of those institutions.

Details: museumstoreassociation.org

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5750, smcmarlin@tribweb.com or via Twitter @shirley_trib.

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