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Your surreal Christmas, courtesy of a museum gift shop near you

17 December 2015

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.

Time is running out, readers. Less than a week remains to get your arty Christmas shopping out of the way. Nevertheless, this is no time to panic. If you like your merchandise the same way you like your Dada, (novel, strange and mostly nonsensical) salvation may be just a click away. Indeed, as Rakewell discovered, the museum shops of the world offer products that are often rather more avant-garde than the works in their collections….

Skateboards are a popular theme this year, with Tate’s shop peddling specimens adorned with designs by Hirst, Baldessari and Murakami. For teenage kicks, though, there are worse places to start than the Chapman Brothers’ characteristically tasteful online shop. For your ‘difficult’ teenage cousin, there can be no better gift than Jake & Dinos’s Signed F**kface Skateboard Deck, a collaboration with skate label Supreme that does pretty much what it says on the tin.

For the gastronome, the National Gallery’s ‘Delicious Art’ range ‘celebrates the excellence of high quality food and drink and the magnificence of the Gallery’s paintings’. Which is perfect if you’ve ever felt that strange craving for expensive white chocolate branded with a young St John the Baptists from The Virgin of the Rocks.

The Rijksmuseum has the kids catered for with its Playmobil rendition of Rembrandt’s The Night Watch. Shopping for the love of your life may be more difficult – but as ever, Rakewell has you covered.

For her, it can only be one thing: Renzo Piano’s Max Mara ‘Whitney’ bag, inspired by the recently reopened museum’s new premises (though quite why is beyond the Rake). For him? Might Rakewell suggest the Dali Museum’s ‘Disintegration/Persistence of Memory Vegan Wallet’? Unlike everything else on this list, at least it acknowledges its own surrealism…

Got a story for Rakewell? Get in touch at rakewell@apollomag.com or via @Rakewelltweets.