Are we the only ones who spend museum visits nursing an itch to cut to the chase and get inside the museum shop? It’s not a frivolous wish – there’s nothing like a beautiful print to remind you of that incredible exhibition back in the day. And even if it doesn’t commemorate a particular art show, the merchandise in museum shops is often as beautifully curated as the collection.
São Paulo’s museum stores might still have a long way to go, at least when compared to those of cities such as New York, Barcelona, London and Berlin. But it’s still possible to happen upon unique designs, not limited to catalogues and art books. Check out our selection of stores and start 2012 by getting inspired with a bit of cultural consumption.
Rua Piauí 844, 1st floor, Higienópolis, (11) 3825 2560, and in the Conjunto Nacional, Avenida Paulista 2073, Jardim Paulista, (11) 3170 4033, ex. 2373, ims.uol.com.br
The Instituto Moreira Salles is a cultural centre named after the Brazilian banker and politician Walter Moreira Salles, considered by many to be one of the founders of the Brazilian financial and banking industry. The institute houses 550,000 photographs, a library of 400,000 items and more than 3,000 works of art in its gallery.
Once you've taken all of that in, head to the shop where you'll find prints by photographers like Marcel Gautherot, Otto Stupakoff, Maureen Bisilliat and others – some of which are limited edition and will cost between R$9,000 and R$12,000.
There is also an IMS store on Avenida Paulista. It's housed in the Conjunto Nacional, which was one of the first shopping centres in Latin America. Read more on the IMS store
Avenida Paulista 1578, Jardim Paulista, (11) 3251 5644, masp.art.br
On the basement floor of one of the city’s most iconic buildings, the São Paulo Museum of Art’s shop may be gloomy but it's worth visiting for its extensive range of art books. You’ll also find the catalogue of the museum’s permanent collection, as well as catalogues for both current and past exhibitions. If you're looking for something to take home with you, there are tasteful pieces in silver and ceramic, and signed works by Brazilian artists, such as the custom pieces by Norma Tamaoki – the only artist authorised to reproduce Tarsila do Amaral’s art.
Parque do Ibirapuera, Avenida Pedro Álvares Cabral, no number, gate 3, (11) 5085 1300, mam.org.br/produtos
The shop inside the Museu de Arte Moderna (MAM) is known for its jewellery made by Rio-based designers using gold, silver and precious Brazilian stones, which can cost upwards of four figures. For something more affordable, you'll also find books, T-shirts and baseball caps branded in the museum's signature red, nude and black colours. If you're there around lunchtime, stop in at the museum's restaurant Prêt no MAM for an excellent buffet with an impressive array of Brazilian dishes. Read more on the MAM shop
Praça da Luz 2, Bom Retiro, (11) 3324 1000, pinacoteca.org.br
As well as a series of products based on the Pinacoteca’s colourful yet tasteful, understated logo, you can pick up art catalogues here, including those from recent shows. We love the designer porcelain mug created by artist Paulo Von Poser for the Memorial da Resistência. Also, look out for the ‘Paixão por Arte’ – ‘Passion for Art’ – line of writing pads and bags. Another interesting line of bags are those that are made, unusually, from leftover banners from the museum’s past exhibitions.
SESC-SP stores are located inside SESCs citywide lojasescsp.org.br
The SESC stores throughout the city – there are nearly twenty in total – make shopping a pleasurable experience by allowing hands-on use of all of the products, in true democratic SESC style.
We recommend leafing through the gorgeous catalogue from the ‘Queremos Miles’ exhibition, featuring images of Miles Davis. The book reconstructs the career of the American trumpeter, composer and jazz legend. In addition to the text, the book includes iconic images by photographers Irving Penn, Don Hunstein and Anton Corbijn, as well as the musician’s scores and album covers.
Rua Coropés 88, Pinheiros, (11) 3554 0737, institutotomieohtake.org.br
The shop inside the Instituto Tomie Ohtake is by far the most interesting of the bunch and its contents are just as conceptual as the pink, curvaceous building that houses it. Look out for jewellery, home décor, bags, toys and clothes as well as hand dyed clothing by the contemporary artist Samantha Ortiz.
The institute's bookshop – livraria Gaudi – sells books on painting, sculpture, modern art, and photography. Read More about Loja de Objetos - IT