Worcester Art Museum Shop Stocked with Unique Holiday Gifts

(WORCESTER, MASS., NOVEMBER 6, 2001)-Enjoy a day at the Worcester Art Museum, and finish your holiday shopping at the same time. The Worcester Art Museum Shop offers thousands of just-right items for holiday gift giving, from fine jewelry, sculpture and children's toys to art books, prints and note cards. Visitors can meander through the many galleries of the Museum and replenish their energy with lunch in the Museum Café.

Items in the Museum Shop are inspired by art in the permanent collection and in museums world wide, and there is something to fit all budgets and fancies. The Shop is open all Museum hours, Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday night until 8 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The shop also opens special hours for holiday shoppers, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays in December and on Christmas Eve, Monday, Dec. 24. For information about the Museum Shop, call (508) 799-4406 ext. 3053. The Museum Café serves lunch Wednesday through Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Museum admission is waived for those who only have time to shop (and dine), but those wishing to visit the galleries pay $8 adults and $6 senior citizens and college students with ID. All youth 17 and under and Museum members are admitted free.

For the holidays, the Worcester Art Museum Shop offers an irresistible collection of tree ornaments. Choose from whimsical angels in white tinsel, sparkly silver wire, gold glitz or silver. Recall the fairy tales of youth with a darling frog prince ornament or an Edwardian Puss in Boots. Hang on your tree ceramic reproductions of glass slippers and fine ladies' shoes featured in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Tree ornaments range in price from $2 to $16.

From the Frank Lloyd Wright Collection come picture frames (from $18-$40), glassware, candleholders, pillows and Bulova Quartz clocks (starting at $72). Find a fine collection of art museum-inspired jewelry. Vermeil pins of 24 karat gold brushed over pewter or silver complement any outfit in designs including Chinese dragons, dragonflies, felines, botanical themes and more ($18-$100). Unique resin jewelry matches the Pantone color palettes shown at the Paris fashion show ($38). Add some flair with an art museum-inspired scarf or necktie. Scarves range in price from $20-$70; ties are $28-40.

If visitors love the look of Worcester Art Museum's current exhibition, ModernismAbstraction: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, they can select from framed and matted prints, note cards, magnets, decorative boxes and an exhibition catalog featuring paintings and sculptures from the show. Find a print, card or book on a favorite artwork in the Museum's permanent collection as well. Note cards featuring the works of O'Keeffe, Van Gogh, Monet and many others come in boxes of 10, 15 and 20 and range in price from $8.50 to $15.50.

Please the culinary enthusiast with the Worcester Art Museum's Cookbook II, for $14.95. The recipes range from simple to fancy and demonstrate New England's rich blend of ethnic traditions. Add to it a bold fruit-festooned serving tray ($14) perfect for a festive holiday gathering.

The Worcester Art Museum Shop offers plenty of gifts for children to encourage learning, laughter and play. Please any child with the museum's quality selection of stuffed toys, children's books, toys and games from museums all over the world. Introduce children to the beauty and wonder of classical music with a compilation compact disc and gift box ($22). Young artists will enjoy the Museum Shop's collection of paint-your-own craft kits,

including a ceramic tea set, dog bowl, flower pot and wooden jewelry box. Inspire a child to create with a Milestones Mosaic Stepping Stone Kit, complete with real stained glass, for $26. A wire art sculpture kit ($28) is winner of the Parents' Choice award. For wee ones, a baby book bundled with Velcro into a block hides a stuffed animal inside ($14.95).

Membership to the Worcester Art Museum is a gift that enriches and inspires the whole year through. Membership categories include individual ($45) and family/household ($55), with value rates for senior citizens and special packages for those who like to bring guests. Members enjoy free admission to the museum throughout the year, discounts on studio art classes and programs, invitations to special events, and discounts in the Museum Shop. Members receive a special 20 percent discount on all Museum Shop merchandise Dec. 1 through 24. For membership information, call (508) 799-4406 ext. 3122 or visit www.worcesterart.org/Membership.

Museum Background

Opened to the public in 1898, the Worcester Art Museum is the second largest art museum in New England. Its exceptional 35,000-piece collection of paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, photography, prints and drawings is displayed in 36 galleries and spans 5,000 years of art and culture, ranging from Egyptian antiquities and Roman mosaics to Impressionist paintings and contemporary art. Throughout its first century, the Worcester Art Museum proved itself a pioneer: the first American museum to purchase work by Claude Monet (1910) and Paul Gauguin (1921); the first museum to bring a medieval building to America (1927); a sponsor of the first major excavation at Antioch, one of the four great cities of ancient Rome (1932); the first museum to create an Art All-State program for high school artists (1987); the originator of the first exhibition of Dutch master Judith Leyster (1993); and the first museum to focus its contemporary art programs on art of the last 10 years (1998). The Museum's hours are: Wednesday through Sunday, 11am-5pm, and Saturday 10am-5pm. Admission: FREE for members; Non-members: $8 Adults; $6 Seniors and full-time college students with current ID; FREE for youth 17 and under; FREE for everyone Saturday mornings 10am-noon sponsored by The TJX Companies and Massachusetts Electric Company. For more information, call (508) 799-4406 or visit the Museum at 55 Salisbury Street in Worcester.