Ah, gift giving: it’s one of those things that’s wonderfully fun when you have a great gift in mind, but a bit anxiety inducing when you’re stumped.
Well, if you have an art enthusiast in your life, you're in luck, because this guide rounds up several gifts that he or she will love.
Of course, an original work of art is always a wonderful gift, but because choosing art is so personal, I’ve decided to compiled a list of gifts that support (or proclaim!) your art lover’s appreciation for the visual world but that don't rely so heavily on personal taste.
Whether you’re shopping for an artist, an art history student, a creative parent, an avid museum lover, or an art enthusiast in general, you’re bound to find something in our gift guide the lucky recipient will love. You can click on the images to purchase most of these items on Amazon. Convenient!
Awesome art books
Books always make great gifts – especially if you inscribe the front cover with a personal message. There are so many interesting and beautiful books about art out there that it’s almost impossible to provide a short list of suggestions, but here are just a few to get you started. The art enthusiast you're shopping for might already have a library full of gorgeous books on their favorite artist or movement, so the titles here are a bit more general – and a bit unique.
Art as Therapy
Complete with gorgeous color images, Art as Therapy explores the various ways that we might understand a work of art. The authors, philosopher Alain de Botton and art historian John Armstrong, propose new ways of looking at familiar masterpieces and suggest that they might be personally relevant – and even therapeutic – for their viewers.
How to Talk to Children About Art
How to Talk to Children About Art is a great resource for parents and teachers who want to encourage an appreciation of art in their children or students. Each chapter covers a different age group and provides examples of discussions that you might have with kids while looking at particular paintings.
The Rape of Europa
For the art nerd who is also a history buff. The subject of this book is a little heavy, but it’s fascinating stuff. In The Rape of Europa, Lynn Nicholas details the Third Reich's war on European culture and the Allies' efforts to preserve it. I appreciate this book (and the eponymous documentary) because it skillfully demonstrates the power and importance of visual culture. If you've seen the movie The Monuments Men, this is the real story.
Nerdy art shirts
Not everyone is on board with graphic tees, but I learned to love them while living in Europe. It seems like everyone has several good ones over there. There are tons out there, but I love these three. A couple are pretty clever and the references are maybe a bit obscure – something that only other art nerds will "get."
If the art lover in your life is also an enthusiastic museum goer, you might look into purchasing him or her a museum membership. This is such a great option because it not only provides unlimited museum access to the recipient – it also helps to support the museum of your choosing. This is also a wonderful gift for parents, as museums can provide endless entertainment for children. (Seriously, museums don’t have to be boring! But more on that another time.) Some of my earliest and most vivid memories are from museum visits with my mom.
Art History Paper Dolls
I adore these beautifully illustrated art history paper dolls. This book by illustrator Kyle Hilton features sixteen famous artists, including Vincent van Gogh, Rembrandt, Salvador Dali, and Leonardo da Vinci. Each comes with props that highlight his or her quirks and characteristics, along with some witty commentary. Just note that this is more of a conceptual project rather than a proper paper doll book: the figures aren't perforated, so they would need to be cut out by hand.
If you’re shopping for an artist, he or she might already have a wishlist of art supplies that you can choose from. Otherwise, I personally feel like a creative person can never have too many sketchbooks and pencils. This is also a great option because it works for almost anyone, from advanced artists to beginners – and even for those art lovers who don’t consider themselves artists. Many of us art historians and museum professionals love to get creative, too – we might just need a little bit of encouragement!
Alternatively, adult coloring books make a fun gift for art lovers who might feel more comfortable getting creative within a framework.
An art tour
Even if your art enthusiast is an expert in the field, a private tour of an art museum or art galleries can provide an unexpectedly rich and unforgettable experience. There's something special about looking at works of art with someone else – the conversation that unfolds enriches the experience and introduces new ways of looking at art.
Perhaps someone in your family or a close friend is coming to Santa Fe, and you’d like to gift them a memorable experience while they are here. Or, you might be a Santa Fe local looking for a unique gift idea for a friend, colleague, or partner. Our tours are popular among couples seeking a fun activity for a date as well as groups of friends getting together to experience something new.
To make giving this experience easy, we offer gift cards available in any amount. Just click the button below for details!
Creative Pep Talk Podcast calendar
This is more specifically for the artist or creative entrepreneur in your life. I am a huge fan of CPT – and while it’s geared toward commercial artists, I find a lot of Andy’s advice pertinent, relatable, and accessible.
The CPT calendar provides a visual dose of encouragement, and if you could even take it a step further and help support the podcast in your art enthusiast's name through Patreon. They’ll get extra perks, like access to short talks and 10% off anything in the Creative Pep Talk shop.
Have fun shopping, and check back periodically! I'll be updating this guide as I come across more gift ideas for art lovers.