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Holiday Gift Guide

This holiday consider buying some art-inspired gifts to ensure that your purchases help support cultures and communities you believe in.

With the holidays quickly approaching as Thanksgiving has come to an end, it’s once again the time of year to figure out what to buy for your friends and families. Luckily, the Hyperallergic editors have compiled some of this year’s best art-related gifts for you to choose from. We have everything from books, jewelry, wall art, and more to bring some holiday cheer to everyone on your list.

Prices, links, and images are included for easy reference.

$25 and Under Gifts

Tauba Auerbach’s “Z Helix Rolling Papers”

Tauba Auerbach’s pay have the most affordable artist-designed gifts that you can easily use for a stocking stuffer. Her beautifully designed “Z Helix Rolling Papers” are only $5 at Printed Matter and they’re also very practical.

Posters for Change: Tear, Paste, Protest: 50 Removable Posters

Right from the Hyperallergic store, we bring you Posters for Change: Tear, Paste, Protest: 50 Removable Posters ($25), a book of tear-out, activist resistance posters created by designers around the world.

NYC-based artist Eden is selling beautiful handmade earring art in their online store, Garden by Eden. There are a variety of different designs, including cherries, flowers, and chili peppers that you can dangle from your ears. Prices range from around $10–25.

W.E.B. Du Bois's Data Portraits: Visualizing Black America
W.E.B. Du Bois’s Data Portraits: Visualizing Black America

W.E.B. Du Bois’s Data Portraits: Visualizing Black America ($19.46) is another great gift idea, offering the charts, graphs, and maps that Du Bois presented at the 1900 Paris Exposition. These portraits, displayed in full color for the first time, illustrate “a literal and figurative representation of ‘the color line,’” according to the book’s description.

<em>Agnes Martin: Pioneer, Painter, Icon</em>
Agnes Martin: Pioneer, Painter, Icon

Another great book to purchase is Agnes Martin: Pioneer, Painter, Icon ($12.76) by Henry Martin. Through photographs and text, Agnes Martin’s previously unknown philanthropy becomes clear. For a preview of some of these photos, read Henry Martin’s article in Hyperallergic

Carleton Watkins, “Yosemite Valley, California” ca. 1865 (image courtesy the Getty Museum)

Hyperallergic recently discussed Tyler Green’s book Carleton Watkins: Making the West American ($23.11) on a recent podcast. Green tells the story of Watkins, the person who helped establish photography as an art and “helped galvanize a citizenry that would eventually establish a national park system around the country.”

$26 through $100 Gifts

Togaku, “Cranes and Cherry Blossoms, from the series Illustrations of Plants, Trees, Flowers and Birds” (1875-1900), print, 38 cm x 26 cm (image courtesy Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam and the Vincent van Gogh Foundation)

For Van Gogh fans, a new book features 660 Japanese prints that inspired Vincent van Gogh. Japanese Prints: The Collection of Vincent van Gogh ($28.46) is available in hardcover this holiday season, and is the perfect gift for any art-lover. Preview some of the images in this article.

If your home is in need of some art, Holly Guertin, an independent artist just outside of Philadelphia, sells some intricate fiber and textile wall art through her website, Ernie and Irene. While the pieces vary in price, with smaller items at $25 and the largest piece at $900, most of the works fall in the $60–200 range.

Marilyn Minter’s “Resist” t-shirt (via Swing Left)

Marilyn Minter’s “Resist” t-shirt is both fashionable and supports Swing Left, a political organization committed to electing more left-friendly political candidates in the US. It’s $45 and looks great.

Another popular item from the Hyperallergic store are The Masterpiece Cards ($60), a boxed set of cards containing 25o masterpieces in Western painting. On the back of each card is a short essay that introduces the painting, discussing influences, meaning, and key facts. This item has been flying off our shelves in recent days, so be sure to order soon!

Diane Arbus: A box of ten photographs

This year, Aperture is selling Diane Arbus: A box of ten photographs ($68), a photobook that includes a selection of Diane Arbus’s works from her portfolio “A box of ten photographs.” The book also includes an essay by Smithsonian curator John P. Jacob.

Currently for sale from The Black School is The Black School Process Deck ($55), an interactive tool to brainstorm and design creative activism projects. The cards can be used to explore the various ways art can activate change. Participants answer of series of questions, making choices that will identify the issues that are most significant to them and in turn design projects to address those issues.

A truffle and a plastic face, part of DADA Daily’s packaging, create a Dada-esque collage (image courtesy Autumn Communications)

If you remember, earlier this year we published the article “Dada-Inspired Snack Foods for an Aesthetic Eating Experience,” highlighting a series of whimsical Dada snack foods. For the foodies in your life, those Dada-inspired snacks can be purchased at Dada Daily here. They even sell a Dada gift set ($59) that includes a number of deliciously aesthetic items.

Guerrilla Girls mask and tote bag (© Guerrilla Girls, courtesy guerrillagirls.com, via Hyperallergic store)

Also from the Hyperallergic store is the Guerrilla Girls Mask and Tote Bag ($28), “For when you need to conveniently carry something, but want to be ready to fight the patriarchy at any moment,” according to the product description. The Guerrilla Girls are a group of anonymous artists in gorilla masks. Their goal is to expose discrimination and corruption in society.

Ninth Street Women by Mary Gabriel (image courtesy Little, Brown)
Ninth Street Women by Mary Gabriel (image courtesy Little, Brown)

Another must-read book on this list is Ninth Street Women by Mary Gabriel ($31.50). Gabriel charts the Abstract Expressionist movement through the lives of Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Joan Mitchell, Grace Hartigan, and Helen Frankenthaler. You can read the review on our website here.

Gifts over $100

On sale at the MoMA Design Store are Stephen Shore Stereographs from 1974 ($250). According to the MoMA’s website, Stephen Shore began experimenting with a Stereo Realist camera in 1974, and so the 30 3D photos included in this set, with a limited-edition update of the classic View-Master, feature five reels of six images from that time. Be sure to order soon, as this is an edition of only 400.

For a more wacky holiday gift, the Rae Swon Etsy shop features a number of artist Rae Swon’s wearable art. While there are cheaper pieces for around $50, most of the works are in the $200–450 range. Some notable items include the Scarlet Ibis Mask ($275), a flora neck ruff ($399), or a “free the nipple” geode top ($199).

Cassie Griffin’s vases (via Ooga Booga)

Cassie Griffin’s vases are simple and lovely. Priced from $115–225 at Ooga Booga, these raw porcelain vases painted by the artist are lovely gifts for the design conscious.

Conrad Fisher’s elk rawhide drums (via Prairie Edge & Sioux Trading Post)

Hand crafted by Conrad Fisher (Northern Cheyenne, Lame Deer, Montane), these 15-inch elk rawhide drums are stretched across a wooden frame, and the back of the drum is laced with more elk rawhide lacing and a handle is created to make it easier to drum. Priced at $255, they are one of countless items available at Native American trading posts across the Great Plains, including at the Prairie Edge & Sioux Trading Post in South Dakota.

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