For many, life in pandemic times has boiled down to basics like eating and working or hustling to figure out next steps, while clad in leisure wear and paired with a mask when venturing out. You can shop for these essential needs online with art-centric results while supporting craftspeople and museums that are hard-hit by shutdowns.
Artisan chocolate is a deserved luxury. The Asian Art Museum in San Francisco offers local Jade Chocolate's 24-piece truffle box ($56) with specially-blended teas, spices, and tropical fruits from Asia and the Pacific Islands. Life would be better with chocolate and a little Lilikoi (Passionfruit), Miso Caramel, and Sake Bomb flavors.
The New-York Historical Society Hand Sanitizer ($4.95) can fit in your pocket or snap on your belt loop. Buy a few along with the Nellie Bly Puzzle Game, and get 2-for-1 fun in a 300-piece puzzle and the original 1890 game sending the intrepid Bly 'round the world. (Bonus: This could keep the kids busy for hours.)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is celebrating 150 years. Mark the occasion in comfort with museum-branded sweatpants ($55) to lounge in while browsing 500 of the Met's finest artworks in a lavishly-illustrated tome, The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Masterpiece Paintings ($75).
Medical grade gloves, face masks, and other protective gear that museums use for conservation purposes have largely been donated to meet the needs of hospitals. A few museum shops have since pivoted to sell cloth face masks for general use. A purchase of a HOPE mask ($16.95) from the 9/11 Memorial & Museum shop includes one mask given to New York City's frontline responders through the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and also helps to sustain the museum.
Detroit Institute of Arts has partnered with a textile collaborative in the Midwest to offer several art-inspired face masks featuring works by Mondrian, van Gogh, Hokusai, Martin Johnson Heade, Monet and more ($24.95). And yes, Edvard Munch's The Scream is available to wear on your face.
(Alas, art on toilet paper is perhaps not good branding, but we'd buy it if a museum had some.)
Note that fulfillment and shipping of orders may be delayed due to current conditions; check with each museum shop for updates.