Holiday Gift Guide for Art and Design Lovers

By Abby Margulies

It’s that time of year again, the days are short, but holiday shopping hours are long. Finding the perfect gift for everyone on our list is one of our favorite December activities, but as art and design lovers with a list of friends and family with very discerning taste, it can take us awhile to find just the right thing. Rather than head to big box stores, we’ve put together a list of ideas from some of our favorite designers, galleries, and artists to help you find a gift that is not only perfectly tailored to your recipient, but delightfully unique as well.

Everyone needs a beautiful coffee table book, and for art and photography lovers there are a number of gorgeous books to choose from this year. One of our favorites is Richard Avedon’s Nothing Personal, which TASCHEN has republished to coincide with Pace Gallery’s current Richard Avedon exhibition. This edition comes with an accompanying booklet that features a new introduction by Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Hilton Als, as well as rare and unpublished Avedon photographs.

For those who appreciate timeless elegance, we love the Normandie flatware collection from Puiforcat. This silver plated set is inspired by the flatware used in the first class passengers’ dining room on the ocean liner Normandie, which traveled between New York and Le Havre. Puiforcat’s modern take on the 1934 line features a classic, simple design that’s bound to appeal to numerous sensibilities. To make it extra special, each piece has a small disc at the end of the handle that can be customized for your lucky recipient.

If you want to have fun looking at art while shopping, Barney’s in New York is a must-visit. In time for the holiday season Barney’s launched a collaboration with artistic duo and brothers Nikolai and Simon Haas. The collection features everything from t-shirts branded with the brothers’ playful graphics and catch phrases to vibrant and brightly-hued ornaments, coasters, and candles. The best part is that the store’s window features a large-scale installation by the Haas Brothers, offering a nice way to recharge from shopping fatigue!

Haas Brothers window installation at Barney's New York

You can’t forget the kids, of course. Stop by the San Jose Museum of Art’s gift shop for the supplies they’ll need to get crafty over the holiday season. The shop features a series of super fun art supplies from kid-approved company Made Modern. Among our favorites are the multicolored Giant Crazy Crayon that will make their drawings pop, with 64 colors smashed into one big crayon, and an On-The-Go Drawing Kit that will keep them entertained during those inevitable holiday layovers and car trips. As an added bonus, the gift shop throws in wrapping for free!

Side tables by Patrick Weder

Finally, is there someone who you really love on your list? Perhaps someone whom you also live with? We are swooning over these gorgeous walnut side tables by Patrick Weder. These beautifully designed tables have a functional side too. The concrete top makes them durable as well stunning, giving them an ultra contemporary feel.

Need more ideas? When we can’t think of quite the right gift, we always turn to Artsy for inspiration. With a trove of art and design treasures, you’ll be sure to find the perfect thing for even your pickiest friend!