Whether you are in town for a meeting or with your family, friends or loved one, you will find many great holiday gifts ideas at the boutiques of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. There are two shops: M Boutique offers more traditional fares, and Design Space offers the cleanly contemporary. You are in luck during a busy week: the shop is open Saturday and Sunday! I loved the sparkle of the space. I found lots of unique holiday decorations, including Nutcracker soldiers and beautiful ornements of all shapes and sizes for the Christmas tree.
In anticipation of the blockbuster The Warrior Emperor exhibit at the Museum (February – June 26 2011), there is an Aladdin’s table full of treasures: small sculpted copies of the warriors; gleaming lacquer trays and plates; delicately-worked silks – even a laptop case in shimmering primary red. Echoing the Asian mood is another table, laden with gift ideas in blue and white china ($7.95 and up): urns, small decorative bottles, a large serving platter. All are splendid.
The central showcase exhibits a myriad of jewellery options – chokers, necklaces, clunky bracelets, shiny rings, and gorgeous glam earrings. I spent about an hour lost in the Book Department. Colourful coffee table volumes are a gift to be shared, and there is a vast choice in French and English. The latest street art / graffiti books are also available for the more urban in your guest list
Oh, and the Children’s Department is charming. Educational books and cuddly teddy bears beckon. Here are a few of my favourite things in the boutiques.
– Watches: clean, simple designs. For men and women. $150 – $300
– African Mask. Around $500+
– Necklaces: Perfect accessory for any LBD (little black dress). All under $100
– Fashion books, stunning one-of-a-kind scarves for the stocking.
– Agendas: A neutral-but-lovely present.
– Music: There is a wide choice of CDs from different artist’s eras. Music from the time of Cezanne, Monet, Vermeer….$12.95
– Cake place mats: Charming! Fifty tear-off paper mats $24.95
– Botanical placemats : Perfect house gift! $69.95
– Art print. There is a huge variety, and if you are not sure, get a Gift Certificate.
DESIGN SPACE SHOP
If you don’t find quite what you are looking for at M Boutique, then wander over to the Design Space next door. In fact, it is my go-to shop for quick and fabulous gifts. For fun, fashion – and cleanly contemporary – this is your one-stop.
– Design key chains $4.95
– Head scratcher $5.95 (sounds strange, but people love it: also acts as a stress-buster!)
– Frog Prince $6.95 (who doesn’t want to kiss a frog and get a…..!)
– Computer cases: Fun ones $26.95 – $50.00. Sophisticated: beautiful leather quilted (red or black) $83.95
– Space Invader Clock $34.95
– A Calder mobile $624.95. For the special someone who has everything
– Frank Lloyd Wright Collection of architecturally-inspired gloves and wallets $32.95 +
– Pen. They are unique and range from $22.95 – $112.95
– A tie. Okay, if you must. But, these are special. $49. – $74.95
– Pantone Universe pieces: luggage tags $22.95, card Holder $21.95, and a shopping bag size $75.95. Buy it in her favourite colour – Pantone-perfect!
And finally, for a perfect corporate gift, the Design Boutique has a super collection of Eskimo sculptures, with prices at all levels.
MONTREAL MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS
1380 Sherbrooke Street West
Tuesday 11 am – 6 pm
Wednesday 11 am – 9 pm
Thursday and Friday 11 am – 6 pm
Saturday and Sunday 10 am – 5 pm