The Nasher Sculpture Center has long been one of Dallas’ artistic jewels. More than 300 masterpieces in modern and contemporary sculpture reside in a building designed by Renzo Piano and on grounds landscaped by Peter Walker. As fascinating as the artwork is, however, sometimes the real draw is the shopping — or the chance to take a masterpiece home.
Enter the Nasher Store, which has locations both at the museum and — until February 15 — at NorthPark Center, across from the Apple store. Brimming over with unique accessories, jewelry, gifts, books and project kits, the stores offer a carefully curated selection that inspires beauty in everyday life. It’s the perfect place to shop not only for the holidays, but also year-round for intriguing gifts suitable for all ages and occasions.
“That’s what makes shopping here so unique: You don’t see things like this in a general shopping experience,” says store manager Carolyn McGlennon.
Take, for example, the Thomas Heatherwick Spun Chair. Tying into the popular exhibit “Provocations: The Art and Design of Heatherwick Studio,” on display through January 4, the chair is meant to be leaned on its side to encourage comfortable spinning. Playful? Sure. Popular? Absolutely.
“Everyone wants that chair,” laughs Carolyn McGlennon, the Nasher Store’s manager and buyer. “That’s what makes shopping here so unique: You don’t see things like this in a general shopping experience.”
McGlennon sources items from artists both local and global, seeking out designers who have an edge to them. There is some overlap between the merchandise at the main store and its NorthPark satellite (this is the third year the Nasher has opened up shop there), but inventory is consciously kept fresh, with surprises to be found at each location.
Tiny terrariums meant to be hung over wine bottles are the newest decorative finishing touches. Individually handmade glass dome place-card holders made by Flower Power Nation lend endless options for dressing the perfect holiday table (jingle bells and faux snow, anyone?). And Dawn Redwood bonsai tree kits come ready with everything needed to grow a tiny tree thought to be extinct until a Chinese forester discovered one growing in a rice paddy in 1946.
“You don’t have to be into the arts to enjoy what’s in the museum’s stores,” McGlennon says. “The majority of the people who look around find something they like and that they can afford.”
That’s the best part about the Nasher stores. Even though the museum contains priceless works of art, the shops carry treasures at a wide range of price points; the cheapest are as little as 50 cents. But if you’re feeling generous, $9,000 can buy you the stores’ top-dollar item, a limited-edition sculpture by artist Tony Cragg.
“You certainly don’t have to spend an excessive amount of money to take a piece of the museum home with you,” McGlennon says. “Unique doesn’t have to mean expensive.”
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