FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA recommends giving a gift of museum membership this holiday season. On the occasion of the publication of her new book “Becoming,” Obama contributed a gift guide to People magazine. She said when she first became a mom, she and her girlfriends would take their children on museum tours.

She mentioned art, artists, and museums throughout the guide. She touted blue O.P.I. nail polish, the shade she wore for her sitting with Baltimore artist Amy Sherald who painted her official portrait for the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. Obama also suggested the exhibition catalog for Kehinde Wiley’s survey “A New Republic.” She said, “Barack and I love Kehinde. Every piece of his is a conversation starter.” Giving experiences over something that comes in a box was also among her recommendations. As an example, she mentioned that “Tomorrow Is Another Day,” Mark Bradford’s exhibition currently on view at the Baltimore Museum of Art, is one of her favorites.

Obama makes a cameo appearance in Culture Type’s 2018 holiday gift guide, a curated selection of ideas for the art lovers on your list. The First Lady’s fashion choice for the dedication of the new Whitney Museum of American Art building influenced the design for a necktie now available at the museum. Works by a variety of artists including Nina Chanel Abney, Kerry James Marshall, Adrian Piper, Tschabalala Self, Mickalene Thomas, and Charles White (1918-1979), inspired the other selections in this year’s guide. Of particular note, Hauser & Wirth produced a new collection of limited edition pocket squares, scarves, and wraps featuring the abstract works of Jack Whitten (1939-2018).


Tschabalala Self Silk Scarf (Bodega Run detail) | $84

Tschabalala Self explores ideas and perceptions about the black female body through painting, printmaking and assemblage. She is currently a 2018-19 artist-in-residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem. This silk scarf features a detail of “Bodega Run” (2017), a work featured in her recent solo exhibition at Tramway in Glasgow, Scotland. Edition of 50, 35.43 x 35.43 inches. | From Art Space

FIND MORE about Tschabalala Self’s selection for a residency at the Studio Museum on Culture Type


Charles White “Strong Women” Boxed Notecards | $15.95

Produced to coincide with the traveling exhibition “Charles White: A Retrospective” currently on view at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, these boxed cards feature a selection of four works by Charles White depicting female subjects: “Our Land” 1951 (shown on box cover); “Ye Shall Inherit the Earth” 1953; “Harriet” 1972; and “I’ve Been Buked and I’ve Been Scorned” 1956. Box includes 20 notecards (approximately 6.75 x 4.75 inches) and 20 envelopes, 5 of each design. (Also available at Amazon) | From Pomegranate Communications

FIND MORE about Charles White’s retrospective on Culture Type


Charles White 2019 Wall Calendar | $14.99

Twelve drawings by Charles White sourced from public and private collections are represented on this calendar produced to coincide with “Charles White: A Retrospective,” the traveling exhibition that originated at the Art Institute of Chicago and is currently on view at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The cover features “Sojourner Truth and Booker T. Washington (Study for Hampton Mural)” (1943), from the collection of New Jersey’s Newark Museum of Art. (Also available at Amazon) | From Pomegranate Communications

FIND MORE more about the Art Institute of Chicago’s early influence on Charles White on Culture Type


Helmut Lang x Paul Mpagi Sepuya Profile T-Shirt | $105

Helmut Lang’s The Artist Series is a collaboration with eight artists. The special project features cotton t-shirts (short- and long-sleeve) and limited editions posters replicating the work of the artists. The collection features images from Carrie Mae Weems‘s seminal Kitchen Table series (1990), Paul Mpagi Sepuya‘s series Self-Portrait Excerpt from “Shoot” Zine No. 5 (2006), and Japanese photographer Keizo Kitajima’s series capturing black subjects on the streets of New York City in the 1980s. Fifteen percent of sales benefit a nonprofit of the artist’s choice. (View the entire collection) | From Helmut Lang

FIND MORE about Carrie Mae Weems’s Helmut Lang T-shirt on Culture Type


Huf x Story x Peanuts Skateboard Deck by Nina Chanel Abney | $80

Seven contemporary artists including Nina Chanel Abney have joined the Peanuts Global Artist Collective, participating in a series of public art projects and retail initiatives inspired by Charles Schulz’s comic strip and its cherished characters. The Institute of Contemporary Art Los Angeles and California African American Museum are currently co-hosting “Royal Flush,” Abney’s first solo museum exhibition and her new series of prints is on view at Pace Prints. Abney’s wood skateboard deck features a graphic design with images of Snoopy and Woodstock. (Also available at Browns, the London retailer.) | From Huf

FIND MORE about Nina Chanel Abney’s Los Angeles exhibitions and Pace Prints show on Culture Type


Michelle Obama Floral Dress Tie | $80 ($64 for members)

The arts were central to many programs and policies during President Obama’s eight-year tenure in the White House. As a part of that emphasis, First Lady Michelle Obama participated in the dedication of the new Whitney Museum of American Art building in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan on April 30, 2015. The dress she wore to the ceremony was by New York-based designer Thakoon Panichigul. This silk men’s necktie by Thakoon is made with the same floral fabric he used for the First Lady’s dress. | From Whitney Museum

FIND MORE about the Obama’s support of the arts on Culture Type


Jacob Lawrence War Series Pin Set/2 | $20 ($16 for members)

Jacob Lawrence painted many multi-panel, narrative series including his War Series which documents World War II from his perspective. Initially, Lawrence’s Coast Guard service was with a racially segregated regiment. He later was a Coast Guard Artist in an integrated unit. In 1946, he received a Guggenheim Fellowship to paint the War Series. All 14 panels are in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art. The series was featured in “America is Hard to See,” the museum’s inaugural exhibition at its building presented, which presented works drawn from its collection. Meanwhile, “Where We Are: Selections from the Whitney’s Collection, 1900-1960” is currently ongoing at the museum. The gift set includes two enamel on metal lapel pins inspired by the grasping arms that appear in the panel “War Series: Purple Hearts” (1947). | From Whitney Museum

FIND MORE about the Whitney Museum’s “America is Hard to See” exhibition and Jacob Lawrence’s Struggle series on Culture Type


Kerry James Marshall Rythm Mastr T-Shirt | $25 ($22.50 for members)

Nearly 20 years ago, recognizing the historic absence of black characters in comics, Kerry James Marshall developed his Rhythm Mastr series. Works from the comic narrative are currently on view in the Carnegie International at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. Rhythm Mastr was also featured in “Mastry,” Marshall’s 30-year retrospective. This poly/cotton blend t-shirt was produced to coincide with the presentation of the traveling exhibition at MOCA Los Angeles. (Also available in youth sizes and neon.) | From MOCA LA

FIND MORE about Kerry James Marshall’s Rhythm Mastr series on Culture Type


Mary Lee Bendolph Blocks and Strips Journal | $15 ($13.50 for members)

Currently on view at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) through March 17, 2019, “Outliers and American Vanguard Art” features a few quilts by the women of Gee’s Bend, Ala., including Mary Lee Bendolph. This journal is inspired by “Blocks and Strips” (2005), one of Bendolph’s quilts. Journal is 5 x 7 inches with 60 unlined pages and an elastic closure. © 2018 Mary Lee Bendolph/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York | From Los Angeles County Museum of Art

FIND MORE about Mary Lee Bendolph and the Gee’s Bend quilters on Culture Type


Mickalene Thomas Silk Scarf | $139

The Wexner Center for the Arts is offering new Mickelene Thomas products in conjunction with her exhibition “I Can’t See You Without Me.” Presented at the Ohio State University museum in Columbus through Dec. 30, 2018, the show “explores her vibrant and resonant dialogue with authorship, identity, desire, and the historically charged relationship between artist and muse.” More than 50 works in a range of mediums are on view, from embellished paintings, collages, and sculptures to immersive installations and a new multichannel video featuring music by Terri Lyne Carrington. The image on this large silk scarf was inspired by “A Little Taste Outside of Love,” a 2007 sequin-embellished, mixed-media work by Thomas. It measures 51 x 39.3 inches, has hand-rolled edges, and comes packaged in an envelope. (View all Mickalene Thomas products, including tech case and purse mirror) | From the Wexner Center for the Arts

FIND MORE about how Mickalene Thomas envisioned Michelle Obama on Culture Type


Mickalene Thomas Jigsaw Puzzle | $26

This jigsaw puzzle is among the Mickalene Thomas products available through the Wexner Center for the Arts. The featured image is one of her well-known works, “Le déjeuner sur l’herbe: Les trois femmes noires” (2010). In addition to “I Can’t See You Without Me,” her exhibition at the Wexner Center, Thomas has another major museum exhibition on the horizon. “Mickalene Thomas: Femmes Noires” opens at Art Gallery Ontario in Toronto on Nov. 29. A 204 piece puzzle, the finished size is 16 x 11 inches. (View all Mickalene Thomas products, including tech case and purse mirror) | From Wexner Center for the Arts

FIND MORE about what inspires Mickalene Thomas on Culture Type


Nari Ward: We The People Tote | $24.95

Composed of colored shoelaces, Nari Ward‘s installation “We the People” played a central role in his exhibition “Nari Ward: Sun Splashed.” The largest survey of the artist’s work to date, the show “focused on vital points of reference for Ward, including his native Jamaica, citizenship, and migration, as well as African-American history and culture, to explore the dynamics of power and politics in society.” Ward’s first museum survey in New York, “Nari Ward: We the People,” is forthcoming at the New Museum in February 2019. This canvas tote bag features a printed version of his installation. | From ICA Boston

FIND MORE about “We the People” by Nari Ward on Culture Type


Soul Of A Nation: Jazz Is The Teacher, Funk Is The Preacher CD | $22.99

This soundtrack was produced to accompany the exhibition “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power,” which is on view at the Brooklyn Museum through Feb. 3, 2019. The CD features sounds that speak to the times—14 tracks from the likes of Gil Scott-Heron, Funkadelic, Don Cherry, Sarah Webster Fabio, and The Art Ensemble Of Chicago. Released by Soul Jazz Records, “Jazz Is The Teacher, Funk Is The Preacher” is the second album compiled to coincide with the exhibition. The first, “Soul Of A Nation: Afro-Centric Visions In The Age Of Black Power…,” was released last year. | From Amazon

FIND MORE about the “Soul of a Nation” exhibition on Culture Type


Lauren Halsey Flava Tee (All-Over Print T Shirt) | $68

Lauren Halsey was among the artists who participated in Made in L.A. 2018 and was awarded the Hammer Museum’s Mohn Prize. Her Los Angeles-based practice “rethinks and remixes the built environment through art.” This t-shirt pays tribute to the places she calls home by highlighting “prominent markers and images from neighborhoods in South Central.” Curator Erin Christovale, who co-orgaized the the biennial, calls the shirt “a conversation starter” in the Hammer Museum’s gift guide. She said: “Not only does the shirt feature Halsey’s signature colorful blast of people and places that she associates with notions of blackness, community, and pride, but it offers a powerful message: Black Owned and Operated, a statement that declares the importance of cultural ownership and economy.” | From Hammer Museum

FIND MORE about Los Angeles artist Lauren Halsey on Culture Type


Adrian Piper T-Shirt (Don’t Touch, Tap, Pat… Me) | $18

The Hammer Museum is currently presenting “Adrian Piper: Concepts and Intuitions, 1965-2016.” The retrospective explores a half century of Adrian Piper‘s conceptual practice, presenting more than 270 insightful works that consider issues of race, gender, and xenophobia. Piper works in a variety of mediums, including performative works that utilize calling cards in response to annoying social situations. (Such cards are on display and available for the taking in the exhibition.) The statement on this cotton t-shirt (“Do not touch, tap, pat, stroke, prod, pinch, poke, grope or grab me.”) is from such a prop for a 2012 work titled “My Calling (Card) #3 (Reactive Guerrilla Performance for Disputed Territorial Skirmishes).” In the Hammer Museum’s gift guide, director Ann Philbin said: “Bravo to Adrian Piper—and bollocks to the times we live in—for making work so prescient and perfectly suited to the mood of the moment. Based on Piper’s ‘My Calling (Card) #3,’ this shirt makes a statement brimming with confidence and defiance—two things we’ll all need in spades for 2019.” (There’s a tote bag, too.) | From Hammer Museum

FIND MORE about Adrian Piper’s retrospective on Culture Type


African American Art 2019 Wall Calendar | $10.78

Works by 12 African American artists from the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum are represented in this calendar published by Pomegranate Communications. The artists include Laura Wheeler Waring, Jacob Lawrence, William H. Johnson, Romare Bearden, David Driskell, and Edward Mitchell Bannister. The cover of the calendar features “Love Letter” (1971) by Charles White, an image inspired by Angela Davis. | From Amazon

FIND MORE about the African American artists calendar on Culture Type


Jack Whitten Quantum Wall Silk Pocket Square | $95

Hauser & Wirth, the gallery that represents the estate of Jack Whitten (1939-2018), has produced a new series of limited-edition products inspired by the artist’s dynamic and dimensional paintings. The collection includes scarves, wraps, and three different pocket squares. While Whitten’s conceptual practice focused on painting, “Odyssey: Jack Whitten Sculptures 1963-2017,” his first-ever exhibition of sculptures, is on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through Dec. 2. The pocket square shown features a detail of “Quantum Wall, VIII (For Arshile Gorky, My First Love In Painting),” (2017), the last work Whitten created before he passed away. He said Gorky, an Armenian-American abstract expressionist, was his first influence. Whitten also said, “…all of my memorial paintings are gifts to the people that inspired them… they are not mere dedications… they are gifts.” Each pocket square is an edition of 150. (View all products in the Jack Whitten Scarf Series) | From Hauser & Wirth

FIND MORE about Jack Whitten’s last painting on Culture Type CT


Editor’s Note: The featured items are suggested finds, subject to availability and described per each vendor’s summary. Stated prices reflect pricing at time of publication.


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