5th Avenue, Broadway, Soho, Greenwich Village, Chelsea, Williamsburg. New York is full of some of most chic, unique and bespoke shopping experiences in the world. But some of the real gems are hidden behind the doors of some of our fantastic cultural institutions. Just think about it, if a museum or gallery displays finely curated and selected pieces on their walls, they most likely display the same standard of wares in their shop. And by wares, I don’t mean branded pencils. From the chic and beautiful to the downright wacky, we picked our top 5 museum shops and tried to keep our fingers away from our purses.


For the Design Dilettante – Cooper Hewitt Design Museum Shop


As expected, the CHD Museum Shop is design heavy, and boy, we want everything. From brands like Brooklyn-based collective Kiosk to kitchenware connoisseurs Alessi, to beautifully handpicked selections of statement lamps, spellbinding art-books, exquisite bags and finely crafted wooden toys for children, this is the place to shop.


Light-up Lunch: A Lite Steak by Marcus Tremonto


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Photo: Cooper Hewitt Design Museum


A Lite Steak is the most interesting piece of interior decor we’ve seen in a long time. This luminescent meat-hanging is designed to show three different images of steak as you walk around it and we absolutely love it.


For the Trendy Wendy – MoMA Design Store


Not your average Museum shop, the MoMA Design Store is actually situated outside the museum grounds in Soho. From divine Issey Miyake Bags to fabulous Uniqlo Collaborations, to furniture by Hay, you won’t ever want to leave this Design haven.


Not Suitable for Children: Noguchi Coffee Table by Isamu Noguchi


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Photo: MoMA Design Store


We wish! Originally designed in 1939, and one of Noguchi’s most famous designs, this beautiful 3-part sculptural table is made from ebonized walnut. This elegant sculptural feature can be yours to look at and move around slowly and with great care from the comfort of your own home.


For the European Eccentric: Neue Galerie Design Shop & Book Store 


The Neue Galerie’s Design Shop is elegance, par excellence. Featuring designers and makers predominantly from Europe, including Eva Zeisel’s ceramics, Biedermeier Sterling Tableware, Dagobert Peche Kitchenware and jewelry by A.E. Köchert. This museum shop will turn your house into one of the great houses of Vienna, lined with luxury.


Don’t Lose Them: A. E. Köchert Eternity Earrings

Photo: Neue Galerie Design Shop
Photo: Neue Galerie Design Shop


Brown diamonds, set in 16 karat gold. Exclusive to the Neue Galerie, this exquisite pair of eternity earrings are incredibly beautiful. Along with an extensive collection on the website, A. E. Köchert certainly leaves our mouths watering.


For the Book Worm: New Museum Store


This museum store may look small, but is packed with some of the most interesting art-book collections. You could stand in there for hours. Complete with unique art objects and editions exclusive to the New Museum, the shop is definitely worth a visit.


Essential Homeware: ‘C’mere’ by Harry Allen


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Photo: New Museum Store


Do you need this? Probably not. Do you want this? Absolutely. What home is complete without a reality-hand-hook? Cast from the artist’s hand, the piece provides a unique take on what it means to be a coat hanger.


For the Kitschy Kids: Gagosian Shop


Last but not least, the Gagosian has the most wonderful selection of unique art items of all of the above, and we had a great time looking through their shop. They have extensive collections of specific artist-related paraphernalia including Damien Hirst and Takashi Murakami and a homeware department par excellence.


Plate Up: Chips by Maurizio Catteland & Pierpaolo Ferrari


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Designed and made in Italy, this plate is just 1 of a series of 12, published by Toiletpaper. Every plate showcases a humorous design that will have your guests questioning your taste.