Museums are all about culture and learning and art and history etc etc etc yadda yadda yadda. That’s what we tell ourselves. But we all know the truth: museums are about buying yourself a T-shirt in the gift shop to prove to everyone that you’ve actually been to a museum.
But it’s harder than ever to get into those museum shops to impress your friends these days because of some lockdown thing that’s been going on. Well, worry no more gift shop lovers, because a whole bunch of the UK’s biggest and best museums have joined forces to launch ‘a campaign to inspire shoppers to use their purchasing power to support their favourite cultural attractions’.
All the big boys are involved: the Imperial War Museums, Natural History Museum, British Museum, Science Museum, Tate Britain, the Wallace Collection, British Library, Royal Museums Greenwich, National Army Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Whitechapel Gallery, Museum of London, plus a bunch in the (whisper it) North. Shocking.
First up, there’s the #ShopMuseums hashtag, which is just some general social encouragement, then there’s the #MuseumShopSunday hashtag, which will see loads of museums offering killer deals on gift-shop goodies on November 29. It’s like Black Friday but on a Sunday, and it’s for museums instead of Amazon.
Need a pencil topper shaped like Tutankhamun’s dead face? Or a coaster with the Magna Carta on it? Maybe some wrapping paper of Rembrandt’s ‘Massacre of the Innocents’? You might be able to get it, and for a bargain price too!
Look, museums are having a hard time, chuck them some of your cash this weekend by following #MuseumShopSunday. It’ll really impress your mates.
Want to go see some actual culture? Check out these public sculptures in London.
And seek out some more gifts from local London shops and makers featured in Time Out’s Christmas gift guide.