Favorite Museum Gift Shops in Paris (with Cheapo Tips)
By Theadora Brack in Paris—
Theadora’s the name and shopping’s my game. For your high browsing pleasure, I’ve put together a list of my favorite museum shops in Paris.
Not in France? Fret not. This week I’m leaving no Francophile or Shopaholic behind! In SELLabration of “Cyber Monday,” most of the shops listed below have online boutiques and offer international shipping. La vie est belle!
Musée national de la Marine
17 place du Trocadéro
Metro: Trocadéro; 16th Arron.
The Musée de la Marine’s shop is a charmer. Long and narrow like a romantically lit ship’s salon, you’ll think you’re hearing waves softly lapping against the hull as you browse. Here you’ll find ocean liner posters, postcards, books, toy sailors, model ships, and striped shirts by designer Jean Paul Gaultier. Mais oui, so pinch yourself, Matey! Even the shopping bags are suited in stripes. Now that’s an outfit!
Recent scores: A beautifully illustrated “Les Marins Font La Mode” catalog for €2, discounted from €6!
Musée du Louvre
Metro: Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre; 1st Arron.
Boutique en ligne
The Louvre’s shop not only discounts catalogs from its previous expositions by up to 60% off their original cost, but also carries current and back issues of “albums de l’exposition.” Published by Beaux Arts Magazine, Connaissance des Arts, Le Figaro, or the Louvre itself, these slim gems are usually prominently displayed, lightweight and affordable, costing just €2 to €10.
Books and catalogs are located on the first floor, and textiles, decorative arts and paper works are showcased on the second level. Keep your eyes peeled for the Marie Antoinette section! Take heed: alluring and glittery souvenirs beckon on both levels. (Do keep your head.) Also, gift-wrapping with miles of ribbon is free, no matter the price or size of your purchase. You just have to ask for it. Your cat and cat sitter will thank you!
Recent scores: Hand-blown Egyptian glasses in teal, green and cobalt blue for €7 a pop.
À la mode!
Musée des Arts Décoratifs
107 rue de Rivoli
Metro: Palais Royale – Musée du Louvre; 1st Arron.
After shopping at the Louvre’s boutique, saunter on over to the nearby shop at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. Designed by Bruno Moinard, this super glam shop boasts extensive and well-organized shelves of books, jewelry, and stationary. You’ll also be wooed by modern and funky table linens, candle holders, vases, dinnerware, stemware, flatware, and things to wear! Groovy entertaining just got easier!
Recent scores: A set of 100% cotton Napkins by Les Arts Decoratifs sets for €4!
Metro: Rambuteau; 4th Arron.
La Boutique du Centre Pompidou
Easy access is just one of the reasons I fancy the Pompidou’s Librairie Flammarion Centre! Nestled on the right hand side of the spacious forum, it’s Bee-line-able. Like the Louvre, the shop frequently discounts its deep inventory of books and catalogs. Lofty ceilings, wide aisles and indirect lighting make for easy browsing. Here you’ll also find films, stationery, calendars, and notebooks stacked on enormous tables as high as the eye of Napoleon’s plaster elephant!
If you need a little mod design to-gos, cross the vast lobby to the mezzanine level on the left, where the Boutique Printemps Design will dazzle you with a range of designer knick-knacks.
Recent scores: A skinny “C’est à ne pas oublier” notebook in cherry red for €5 and exposition catalog Dreamlands: Des parcs d’attractions aux cités du future for €8!
All dolled up!
Musée de la Poupée
Metro: Rambuteau; 3rd Arron.
After shopping at the Centre Pompidou, pop by the shop at the nearby Musée de la Poupée (Doll Museum). Here, stylish Sybarite dolls coolly hold court at the entrance to a shop stocked with hundreds of other poupées du monde! Created by Charles Fegen and Desmond Lingard for the museum, the Sybarites were inspired by the 17th-century French fashion dolls called the Pandores. Before catalogs and websites, the Parisian fashion industry used articulated dolls to market their creations, targeting and attracting an international clientele for the first time. Even Henri IV sent “jointed babies” to his fiancé Marie de Medici in Italy so that she would arrive at court in Paris wearing only au courant garb!
The Musée de la Poupée’s shop also carries books, catalogs, postcards, and exquisite miniature clothing ensembles. Contact the super helpful Claire Favot Conand with questions about sizes, brands or names.
Just a kiss!
77 rue de Varenne
Metro: Varenne or Invalides; 7th Arron.
Passionately curated and stocked by Alberto Brusamolino, there’s beacoup to appreciate about the Musée Rodin’s shop. After visiting Rodin’s muscular marvels, I often find myself lingering in the shop in order to prolong the delightfully amorous feeling that all that bronze and marble just induced. Truth be told, it does the trick for me every time.
Here you’ll find replica sculptures, books, catalogs, stationary, jewelry, tote bags, and textiles. Do check out the online boutique. It’s striking, super-organized and almost as fun as “being there!” Questions? Contact Mr. Brusamolino! PDF catalog is also available.
Cheapos, do you have a favorite museum gift shop in Paris? Do shop and tell!