Museum Quality

Sunday, January 31, 2010 | Category: Art, Gifts, Shops and Showrooms


On one of the last days before my children headed back to school for the Spring Semester- one back to Los Angeles, one back to Boston and one just back to the books at home, we decided to head to the city for a visit to the Modern Wing at the Art Institute of Chicago.  As I reported in a post back in September, the Modern Wing is one of my favorite places in the city and is truly as beautiful on a cold winter’s day as is was back in the summer and fall.


Located in the new Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago, the highly anticipated Terzo Piano is a must-stop for lunch and Thursday dinner. It featuresthe signature cuisine of Chef Tony Mantuano, who has been delighting Chicagoans for years at the four-star Italian restaurant, Spiaggia. The food is all fresh, local, organic and sustainably produced. There is even an authentic cava di stagionatura (cheese cave), where some of America’s most interesting artisanal cheeses are kept at ideal temperature and humidity. Outside you can dine al fresco on the covered piazza, while enjoying spectacular views of Millennium Park, Michigan Avenue and the Bluhm Family Terrace. Unfortunately, today was not one of those picture perfect piazza kind of days with the temperature hovering at around 28 degrees…..

Here is the beautiful rooftop deck of Terzo Piano- this picture was obviously taken in another season. Only 5 more months until we will feel that kind of sunshine here in Chicago…..

The interior of the restaurant is white, fresh and endearingly modern. Our lunch being over was quite a sad event but now was the time- after browsing countless priceless pieces of art that we came to the part of the museum experience that makes my credit card start to exit my wallet in anticipation: the gift shop.


Museum gift shops have become destinations in themselves.  Filled with unique, tasteful gifts, museum gift shops are the place to go to find a hostess gift, birthday present or even a little something for yourself!  Needless to say…I did not leave empty handed that day 🙂

Check out some of the cool finds in the gift shop at the Modern Wing at the Art Institute….


Computation clock…Color and style will work with almost every  decor. Adds a bit of whimsy.


Modern lighting galore…


These vases would be beautiful with a single bright bloom to help us get through these gray days of winter.


Interesting and textural bowl for a dose of color on a tabletop or placed on a shelf for a more rugged perspective.


Lucite candelabra.  Just add candles and you have an amazing centerpiece.  Have placed this on a white Saarinen table.  Looked really nice. Clean and simple.


Check out the online shop here for more amazing finds.  What are some of your favorite museum shops?  And, what did you find?

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3 Comments to 'Museum Quality'

Karena 31 Jan 10 at 10:30 pm

I knew there was a reason I need to visit Boston!

Stacey 03 Feb 10 at 8:20 am

very creative thoughts and nice designs, love to be a part of it.

Julia-Chicago 04 Feb 10 at 12:45 pm

Lucky Boston MG’s get to have both the ICA and Mass MoCA in their hood. Jealous!

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