Holiday Gift Guide 2023: Hammer Staff Picks
Still searching for that perfect gift? We asked some of our most enthusiastic Hammer staff shoppers to tell us about their favorite items in the Hammer Store this holiday season.
You can purchase many of the gift guide items online, come shop with us in person, or call us for more information: 310-443-7063.
Leonora Carrington: Revolution
Leonora Carrington’s Revelation is a mystical, awe-inspiring, and witchy book that is perfect for the whimsical holidays. The British-Mexican artist was a key figure in the Surrealist movement. From her interest in the occult to her dream-like drawings, Carrington’s meticulously detailed works are a step into another universe. This book describes her first retrospective exhibition, which took place in Spain. Showcasing a variety of her paintings, details of her life story, and selected interviews, Carrington’s spirit is fantastically conjured in this book.
—Kate Provisor, Hammer Store Clerk
Pippa (Philip) Garner, Better Living Catalog
An absolute favorite of mine and the perfect stocking stuffer for that funny/maybe jaded and design oriented loved one who is the hardest to shop for. Originally published in 1982, Philip aka Pippa perfects the “better living” vibe through clever, thoughtfully hilarious imagery that are equally beautiful—holds up perfectly to this day. A true gem and an ideal coffee table book that will lend a chuckle to the grumpiest of guests!
—Diane Lin, Hammer Store Clerk
Purchase Better Living Catalog ($20) from the Hammer Store
Jesse Szewczyk, Cookies: The New Classics
Cookies: The New Classics will have you salivating as you flip through its pages. These decadent cookie photos are paired with clear instructions that cater to every skill level, making it a go-to for both novice and seasoned bakers. Highly recommended for anyone who believes that happiness is just a batch of cookies away!
—Angeline Sun, HR Specialist
Purchase Cookies: The New Classics ($27.50) from the Hammer Store
The Mamo Coupe Cocktail Glass is not only the perfect glass for a variety of drinks and desserts, but it’s a beautiful conversation piece for when guests come over. This unique glassware features a modern take on the classic cocktail glass form, accented with a subtle, yet effective, pop of color. With such a variety of colors and designs fit for almost every occasion, it’s hard to resist buying more!
—Lauren Bugay, Hammer Store Clerk
Purchase a Mamo Coupe Cocktail Glasses ($36) from the Hammer Store
Decks the Halls!!!!
My new go-to this season for everyone is Decks! For that person who needs a reminder to take a break and enjoy life? Thich Nhat Hanh's Mindfulness Essentials deck to the rescue. For the spooky fungi lover? Grab the Mushroom Oracle Deck! Graphic design enthusiast? Pick up the Autonomic Tarot for them. Love modernist abstract designs? Tasya van Ree's Untamed Elemental Deck is perfect. Gardening mixologist? Try the Botanical Cocktail Deck. Gin Rummy maniacs? How about Poketo's Playing Cards! Also: Easy to ship, and less dedication than a book. What's not to love?!
—Sara Beattie, Store Operations Manager
Looking for a fun and easy art project? Simply place flowers, leaves, paper clips, feathers, cookie cutters, or any other small objects on this light-sensitive paper and expose the sheet to the sun for 1-5 minutes. Rinse the paper with water and dry it flat. In a snap, you’ll have an evocative photographic impression of your composition! A fascinating and creative activity for all ages.
—Jennie Waldow, Luce Curatorial Fellow, Collections
Purchase a Sun Kit ($10) from the Hammer Store
Last Chance Textiles Bandana Checkers Set
Last Chance Bandana checkers set is the perfect stocking stuffer for the person that has everything. This bandana set is two gifts in one, a beautifully designed, naturally dyed wearable bandana, inspired by historical textiles, and a checkers board game set that can be taken on the go. This set is perfect for those year-round social events since it comes in a convenient pouch that you can bring to holiday parties, a relaxing day on the beach or a picnic in the park. Will bring entertainment to people of all ages, helping avoid those awkward moments with family and friends when no one knows what to do after holiday food coma causing dinners. This gift will be the talk of every party, bringing joy to the board game lovers and envy to your fashionable friends that did not know this bandana existed.
—Michelle Castro Bastida, Lead Salesperson
Purchase Last Chance Textiles Bandana Checkers Set ($49) from the Hammer Store
Studio Cue Golda Atmosphere Sprays
3:47 am - You wake up from a weird dream and you try and write down fragments of what you can remember half-asleep in your notes app before all of it fades away.
6:15 am - You wake up from your alarm. And every single time it sets off, you’re reminded that you want to set it 30 minutes later because you think it’s too early. You leave it as is anyway. You take a shower, you get dressed, then you’re off to a 2 hour bus commute to work. What a day.
10:37 am - You oscillate between working, dilly-dallying, and staring out the window. There’s an ominous air lingering. You’ll find out what that is later.
4:54 pm - You’re at your desk, palming your face, feeling the patches of stubble on your cheeks while asking the question “Why?”
8:23 pm - You just got home. You take off your Docs and you start massaging the arches of your feet with a roller. Air, perpetually ominous. You grab your Gold 3rd Eye Love Atmosphere mist with hiba wood, bergamot, and neroli oils. You spray your bedroom (and yourself). You ask, “What’s all this for?”
“It’s all for the nuance of scents.”
—Ramon Espinosa, Design and Production Specialist
Purchase Studio Cue Golda Atmosphere Sprays ($48) at the Hammer Store.
Growing up receiving socks for Christmas from a distant relative could start a years-long one-sided beef; however, when it comes to Himukashi socks, that won't be the case! These wool socks are incredibly comfortable and come in various colors. Not to mention, they're reversible. The lettuce cut cuff and cute strings for added style complement any look! So, if you are the distant relative gifting socks, you wouldn't have to worry about someone in your family secretly plotting against you. If you were the relative who received fugly socks in the past (sorrows, sorrows, prayers), don't hold onto an age-old sock grudge, repair that hurt by gifting these to yourself!
—Chaniece Jefferson, Hammer Store Clerk
Purchase Himukashi Socks ($25) at the Hammer Store.
The Hammer hat is the most enduring and most popular piece of Hammer Museum merchandise there is. Having worked here in the Visitor Experience department for over five years now, I remember purchasing my first one in June 2018. A beige cap with contrasting navy Hammer logo and brim. It said something about who I was then—a need to be like everyone else, and a need to stand out. (That was the only contrast color hat at the time.) I can remember at least ten Hammer hats between now and then. Some bought, some earned through workplace raffles and Hammer Membership sales drives. My all-time favorite was the ubiquitous Hammer pink, with Hammer blue logo. Spring/Summer 2021.
Currently on offer, in Fall 2023, I see the following: Forest green with black, Charcoal grey with pink, Royal blue with white, Orange with blue, Black with beige, Navy with Navy, Light blue with yellow, Pink with blue, Butter, Putty with putty, Olive green with yellow, Teal with white, Pink with orange, Pink with orange, and the newest: “Kelly Green with bright multi-color thread.” All the same, but different. And always changing. Something about metaphor, something about a more just world. Something about diversity, the Hammer’s audiences and exhibitions, all here in a 28-dollar hat. On sale now at the Hammer Museum Store. Colors subject to change.
—Lionel Deatherage, Assistant Manager, Visitor Experience
Purchase Hammer hats ($28) at the Hammer Store.
Everything Nice Salt Bowl
I grew up in a salt-and-pepper-shaker home. My mother collected them for years, and our kitchen counters were always lined with sets she found at flea markets and antique malls. Most of them sat unused, purely for appreciating, but suffice it to say my home was one in which salt was always hidden away in a shaker, invisible to the seasoner until shooken over their plate. It wasn’t until much later in life that I began to notice, in the kitchens of friends, little mounds of gorgeous white crystals, casually but proudly displayed in rustic pinch pots or in receptacles I came to know as salt cellars or, better still, salt pigs. It struck me as salacious, seeing it all out there in the open like that. But the sensation of seasoning my food by hand, the coarse crunch of sea salt between my fingers, the flick of the wrist that propels the salt into the pot in a precise, Pollockian splatter—it touched something primordial within me. Ever since, my household has been one in which salt takes pride of place, a generous pile of the stuff nestled in a treasured ceramic bowl, like an offering, which it is. The Everything Nice salt bowl, designed by Sophie Lou Jacobsen, is a beautiful glass object, a fitting trophy for ol’ NaCL that can move from stoveside to tableside and turn heads doing it. It’s not just lipstick on a salt pig, it’s an elevation of the genre.
—Philip Leers, Associate Director, Digital Initiatives
Purchase the Everything Nice Salt Bowl ($50) at the Hammer Store.
Need a unique holiday gift? What if, instead of more stuff, you gave your favorite people the gift of access, escape and discovery? Treat the art lover(s) in your life to a year’s worth of memorable experiences with a Hammer membership! Hammer member benefits include exhibition previews and curator-led tours, priority ticketing at our renowned public programs, discounts at the Hammer Store and Lulu, and more! With an Impact level membership ($500) your loved one(s) will receive invitations to our exclusive Director’s Receptions and a Hammer exhibition catalogue of their choosing.
—Dylan King, Manager, Annual Giving
Purchase a Hammer membership.