Wear a bend in the Mississippi on your arm with this cuff by artist Brandi Couvillion at the Ogden — Photo courtesy of Brandi Couvillion
New Orleans museums aren't just for touring. Each museum has its own unique gift shop bearing a well-curated collection of artsy, fun and thoughtful treasures you won't find at the local mall.
At the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the emphasis is on hand-crafted textiles, jewelry and gifts with a decidedly Southern point of view. One beautiful example comes from New Orleans artist Brandi Couvillion, who creates bracelet cuffs made from metal etchings of historic New Orleans maps.Couvillion uses raw sheets of metal and heat to transform them into wearable jewelry, priced from $100 – an amazing present for a person who loves "The Big Easy."
An absinthe-themed gift comes together at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum — Photo courtesy of Beth D'Addono
At the New Orleans Museum of Art, local art is as important as gift homages to the likes of Degas and Renoir. Two books by local authors to check out for the home cook on your list: Linens: For Every Room and Occasion by Jane Scott Hodges and Artful Feast: An Elegant Lifestyle for Dining, a cookbook by Nia Terezakis.
You can also find Alexa Pulitzer stationary – she's the local go-to for all the best party invites – and there are even some creations by local glass artisan Mitchell Gaudet.
Southern Food and Beverage Museum's upfront gift shop is the ideal spot for the foodie on your list. From handmade wooden spoons to Thomas Mann jewelry in the shape of gumbo pots and crawfish, there's no shortage of spirited ideas. Cookbooks, locally made barbecue sauce and cocktail recipes and barware offer more tasty options.
History lovers can't do better than a spin around the not one but four gift shops at the newly expanded National World War II Museum. That's where you can find all kinds of military-themed shirts, aprons and hats for men and women, along with books and DVDs galore, calendars and just about anything you can imagine that relates to World War II.
Models, coins, magnets, notecards . . . the list goes on and on.
The Historic New Orleans Collection, a French Quarter gem on Royal and Chartres Streets, is a museum, historical archive and series of historic homes and galleries chronicling the city’s illustrious past. The collection has a gorgeous shop filled with old prints, maps, books and a fun array of New Orleans-centric gifts.
Need a second line tie? How about bar glasses etched with images of the Superdome? This is the spot to find all that and more.
And remember that buying work by local artists is tax free, thanks to the Louisiana Cultural Districts program.