Santa Fe, New Mexico was recently voted the #1 Best Destination for Shopaholics by USA Today 10Best readers. So I want to share with you that one of Santa Fe's best kept shopping secrets is the number of unique gift shops that accompany our magnificent museums. We have several places where you can find the perfect treasure for yourself or a friend. There are a total of eight museum gift shops in The City Different that carry everything from apparel, furnishings, jewelry, accessories, music, movies, and Native American art. You can always count on the museum shops to sell items related to current or permanent exhibits. No two gift shops are the same! So let me take you through a shopping odyssey filled with treasures, handmade art and crafts, and one-of-a-kind- gifts.
Are You Seeing Red ?
I know you will—in a good way!— at the Museum of International Folk Art gift shop located at Museum Hill. Red - The Color that Changed the World just ended a well-received exhibit run and red-related gifts have taken over the shop and will be up for awhile. There you will find red scarves, bracelets dishes, soap and items dyed with cochineal—the unappealing bug that can be transformed into a splendid colors of red. You can also find postcards and wrapping paper with designs by the famed designer Alexander Girard. Be sure to check out “A Common Bond”,the permanent exhbit curated and designed by Girard himself. I highly suggest you stop at the Folk Art gift shop first.
Did You Say Turquoise?
The color theme continues with Turquoise, Water and Sky—an exhibit showing at the New Mexico Museum of Indian Arts and Culture. Expect to find silver and turquoise in rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings for sale that compliment this exhibit—perfect accessories to help remind you of your relaxing time in Santa Fe. This museum and gift shop is also located at Museum Hill.
The Divine Painted and Photography
The Speigelberg Shop over at the New Mexico History Museum, just off Santa Fe’s historic plaza, has wonderful gift items pertaining to two of its exhibits: Painting the Divine and Poetics of Light: Pinhole Photography. On a recent trip I found all things photography from miniature working cameras to books on pinhole photography. You’ll be inspired to start capturing photos of your own on Santa Fe’s picturesque, adobe-lined streets. (Check out the photography kits in the gift shop!) Painting the Divine has a multitude of keepsake gifts like religious icons, notecards and magnets. Anything from this gift shop is sure to please that special someone.
Find Your Next Gift At The Palace
Many return to the Palace of the Governors gift shop on the Santa Fe plaza because of the wide assortment of cards and books. The shop also carries an impressive poster collection. The poster subject matter comes from the Palace of the Governors Photo Archives. So, if vintage is your thing, keep a look out for vintage images of Santa Fe. After all, The City Different is more than 400 years old!
Georgia On My List
The Line, Color, Composition exhibit recently ended at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and up next is From New York to New Mexico: Masterworks of American Modernism from The Vilcek Foundation Collection from September 25, 2015—January 10, 2016. One popular gift item is the Georgia O’Keeffe calendar. Posters are also available of her work (perfect for framing.) You’ll also find pottery made by artists inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe.
Progressive Native American Art
The Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) is the country’s only museum for exhibiting, collecting and interpreting the most progressive work of contemporary Native artists. Right downtown, a trip to the gift shop beautifully showcases the purpose of the museum as a gathering of all that is contemporary native. Here you’ll find an assortment of gifts ranging from jewelry to paintings—truly unlike anything you’ve seen before.
So as you exit through the gift shop, look for a whimsical gift that means something to you. You'll find that and so much more in this shopper's paradise. Don't forget to check out other shopping stops to make during your visit to Santa Fe. And get the official Santa Fe Guide and start planning your Santa Fe shopping adventure and happy treasure hunting!